With identity theft on the rise, you should do everything possible to safeguard your private information. While most of us take good security measures when using a PC, many individuals don’t realize that smartphones are now increasingly being targeted by identity thieves. Here are some ways to keep your identity safe on your mobile device.
Mind Your Device’s Physical Security and Protect it With a Password Lock
Never leave your phone unattended in a public place. While most thieves would simply steal a phone in order to resell it, sometimes the private information contained on a mobile device would be more valuable than the phone itself. You should always use a password-protected lock screen on your phone. Don’t use a password that can be easily guessed, such as “1234” or your phone number.
Keep Your Device’s Software Up to Date
Many mobile operating systems are regularly updated by their creators. These updates not only give you more functionality, but in many cases will fix potential security breaches that could be exploited by hackers and malware.
Don’t Store Passwords in Memory
While it may certainly be convenient to store your login credentials for your email, social networking sites and other online Mobile apps services on your phone, this is a practice that you would want to avoid. If your phone is stolen, your private data could be compromised if you’ve saved your login information on your phone.
Be Wary of Links in Email or Text Messages
There have been numerous phishing attempts targeting mobile users in the last few years. These attacks involve sending a link to a site that replicates the look of a reputable one, such as an online banking site, in order to steal login information from users. Avoid following an Internet link in your messages unless you are sure that you trust the sender.
Stay In the Know About Security Issues
Service providers and many other independent websites can give useful tips on how you can prevent identity theft when using a mobile device. If a new type of attack is reported, such as malware that infects a certain mobile operating system, the news will be quickly published on many sites that deal with technology, together with ways to protect yourself from that specific attack.
Even though identity theft is a growing form of fraud, you can stay protected if you keep these tips in mind while using a mobile device. Remember that smartphones are in fact pocked-sized computers, and many security precautions that would apply to a PC also apply to them.