iStock_000025057013LargeDid you know that using your mobile device in public places increases the risk to your personal data? Devices are easily lost or stolen, putting your device content, as well as your personal data, potentially at risk!


So what should you do if your mobile device is lost or stolen? If you’re not sure, here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • File a report with law enforcement.
  • Contact your service vendor to cancel your service and report your device missing.
  • If you have a backup/wipe program, contact your vendor to have them wipe the device.

Mobile devices are also susceptible to threats such as application, Web or SMS/text message-based attacks. So how do you protect yourself from all these lurking security threats? Here are some “best practices” that can enhance your mobile security:

  • First, make sure your device uses password, passcode, or pass-swipe protection.
  • Consider using a security software program or app available for your mobile device, such as an anti-virus or anti-malware program.
  • Install a phone-finder app in case it’s lost or stolen.
  • Keep your device apps up-to-date. The updates will have the latest security features built-in.
  • Think about enrolling in an online or cloud-based backup program that will retrieve your files if lost or stolen.

While on the topic of security, let’s talk a little about Wi-Fi use. Most of us use public Wi-Fi when it’s available but doing so can put your device’s security at risk. It’s best to limit your activities when using public Wi-Fi. Try to avoid accessing banking services and other sites or apps that utilize sensitive information. In many cases, your cellular provider’s network connection is actually more secure than Wi-Fi.

One way to handle Wi-Fi security issues is to eliminate the usage of hotspots completely. However, this may be impractical for many people. If that’s the case, make sure any sensitive website you log into or service you setup on the phone (like e-mail) is secured with SSL encryption to defend against potential Wi-Fi eavesdroppers. If you are really concerned about your mobile device security, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) on both your Wi-Fi and cell data connections.

Mobile devices have given everyone the convenience of taking life on the go. This also means potential threats can tag along if you’re not careful. Be sure to protect your device, your information, and yourself. Good luck, and happy surfing!


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