Most of us have developed a very close personal relationship with our mobile devices: we carry them with us throughout the day, check them frequently, and even sleep with them nearby at night. Although mobile devices allow us to instantly connect with friends and family, to access the internet, get directions and make purchases, this increased convenience also comes at an increased risk. Many of these online activities require us to provide personal information, such as name, email address, account number and credit card information. This puts us at risk of having this information compromised by cyber criminals. It’s important to understand how to protect yourself when connecting on the go.
Did you know?
- 56% of American adults own a smartphone?
- More than half of mobile application (app) users have uninstalled or decided not to install an app due to concerns about their private information?
Here’s some simple tips:
- Use strong passwords. Change the default passwords on your mobile device to ones that would be difficult for someone to guess. Use different passwords for different programs and devices. Do not choose options that allow your device to remember your passwords.
- Keep software up to date. Install updates for apps and your device’s operating system as soon as they are available. Keeping the software on your mobile device up to date will prevent attackers from being able to take advantage of known vulnerabilities.
- Disable remove connectivity. Some mobile devices are equipped with wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, that can connect to other devices. Disable these features when they are not in use.
- Be careful what you post and when. Wait to post pictures from trips and events so that people do not know where to find you. Posting where you are also reminds others that your house is empty.
- Guard your mobile device. In order to prevent theft and unauthorized access, never leave your mobile device unattended in a public place and lock your device when it’s not in use.
- Know your apps. Be sure to review and understand the details of an app before downloading and installing it. Be aware that apps may request access to your location and personal information. Delete any apps that you do not use regularly to increase your security.
- Know the available resources. Use the Federal Communication Commission’s Smartpkhone Security Checker at www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security
As we recognize October’s designation as National Cyber Security Awareness Month, let’s not miss this opportunity to think about how we’re protecting ourselves in this increasingly connected world. If you remember to be vigilant at all times and know what to be aware of, you’ll be successful in keeping your personal and financial information safe and secure. We’re dedicated to providing you with financial privacy and security awareness so if you’ve got questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-800-697-0049