Mitigating mobile security risk is critical to protecting yourself. Here are 10 steps you can take to secure your mobile phone, and protect your data:
- Know what data is being collected by applications.According to the FTC, some apps may be able to access your phone and email contacts, call logs, internet data, calendar data, data about the deviceUs location, the deviceUs unique IDs, and information about how you use the app itself.5
- Know how your data is being used by applications. Low data security is (unfortunately) a common problem today. When your device and apps send data without protecting it with encryption, the data can be easily intercepted.
- Add a passcode, PIN, or pattern lock. This helps protect your data from an attacker who gets ahold of your phone, even if the app developer didnUt properly secure the data.
- Use different passwords for sites and apps. If you use the same passwords for banking, social media, email, etc., then a hacker only needs to figure out one password to gain access to your identify.
- Logout of your applications. If your application requires a login, ensure that you log out when you are finished.
- Only download apps from the official App Store and Google Play. Third- party stores are fraught with malware. Stick to the official stores to protect yourself from malicious apps.
- Use two-factor user identification when available to add another level of protection. Many applications offer two-factor authentication, which combines something you have (token, phone) with something you know (passcode). It greatly increases the difficulty of an attacker compromising your password and gaining access to your account.
- Update your operating system and apps when new versions are available. Operating system updates typically include patches to known security vulnerabilities. Attackers can exploit these vulnerabilities if you do not upgrade your OS.
- Avoid unsecured WiFi. This helps protect against attackers that want to steal your data over networks.
- Use an app that provides you visibility into what apps are doing with your data. The NowSecure Mobile App provides insight into what apps are sharing your data insecurely, what vulnerabilities may be affecting your device, and provides tips to secure yourself. A new version will be coming Fall 2015.
Employing these few steps to securing your mobile phone will lessen the risk that someone can steal your information.