5 Smartphone Security Essentials

by Robyn Wright on January 20, 2015

in Tech

5 smartphone security essentials | RobynsOnlineWorld.com

I am asked about security for smartphones often. A few years ago the answers were easier as there were not as many different devices and they did far less than they do now. With the advancement of options and ability also comes risk. There are a few things that everyone can do with their smartphone though to help protect it.

  1. Keep Operating System, Device, and Apps Updated
    Because smartphone technology is in constant change there are lots of updates to be done on a regular basis. By default, most smartphones will check regularly for operating system updates and device updates. Most of these are pushed out by your wireless carrier. You can manually check for updates on most devices by going into settings, then find software update or about device to find the manual check. All of those apps that you use on your phone need updated also. There are bug fixes and security issues fixed often. Go into the store app on your device to check for new updates, at least once a week, and install them.
  2. Lock Your Device
    When you set your phone down and it automatically turns off after a minute or so (whatever you have it set to) it should also lock. This means that to get back into the useful part of the phone you will have to enter a passcode, special swipe pattern, or fingerprint recognition. This may seem like a pain but if your device is stolen or even if you just leave it someplace it can keep someone else from getting into the device and using your information, banking info, files, photos, etc. If you do not have a lock screen set up, once again check in the phones settings to correct this.
  3. Use a Secure Internet Connection
    Sure the free Wi-Fi at the coffee house or library is easy and well, free, but it also is not secure. There are people who lurk in these places to find the data you are sending and receiving and steal it. Use your data plan for a safer connection. You can also learn about using a VPN for more secure use.
  4. Backup Your Smartphone
    Using a backup service or automatically backing up to a cloud service means that even if you lose or break your device you still have access to everything. You can easily restore a new device from your backup. Check your wireless carrier to see if they offer a backup service and/or cloud service. I use Verizon (disclosure: I do work with Verizon also, but I am a personal customer also) and they offer both as part of my plan. See Verizon Backup Assistant Plus and Verizon Cloud Service.
  5. Use Security Programs
    This area is still a little tricky but there are more options available these days. Check your favorite app store for anti-virus and anti-malware options for your operating system. Look for names you already know well for good computer security, read the latest reviews from other users, and see when it was last updated before you make a choice. Check out Verizon Support and Protection options for Verizon customers.

Are you protecting your smartphone with these methods?

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Robyn is a #VZWBuzz Lifestyle Blogger for Verizon

© 2015, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 21 comments }

1 Sara F. Hawkins January 21, 2015 at 12:38 am

Great tips, Robyn. I’m terrible about backing up my phones but now I’ll add it to my schedule to do it as a routine. As for that “free” WiFi, it’s why I carry my own Verizon MiFi. It may be convenient to just log on but I don’t know if they’re secure.

2 Robyn Wright January 23, 2015 at 11:00 am

Yes @saving4someday:disqus the Verizon Backup is very handy and can be set to automatically back up even. Agree with you on the MiFi!

3 Amie January 21, 2015 at 2:25 am

Great tips , I never thought about the dangerous free WiFi ! Thanks for the tips !

4 Robyn Wright January 23, 2015 at 11:00 am

Yes, really important to know. Never do things like banking on free wifi

5 Nicolthe pickle January 21, 2015 at 6:05 am

I agree with setting a lock on your phone. So important.

6 Robyn Wright January 23, 2015 at 11:01 am

That is actually the one thing I am really bad about personally

7 coupotammy January 21, 2015 at 10:16 am

I have a password on my phone. I also when using free Wi-Fi I never do anything important, like banking. There are just too many shaddy people out there.

8 Robyn Wright January 23, 2015 at 11:01 am

Very true @coupontammy:disqus

9 Betsy Barnes January 21, 2015 at 10:22 am

These are great tips that everyone should follow, I do all of these on my Windows Phone. I feel much more secure.

10 Robyn Wright January 23, 2015 at 11:01 am

Awesome and w00t for Windows Phone users!!!! I love mine :-)

11 sandra January 21, 2015 at 11:06 am

thanks for the tips

12 Robyn Wright January 23, 2015 at 11:01 am

You’re welcome

13 tannawings January 21, 2015 at 5:48 pm

I dont use a phone with a data plan, but have used my IPad1 in say the hospital. I dont know how secure it is. I dont go to sites like banking when I have used the free wifi.

14 Robyn Wright January 23, 2015 at 11:02 am

The hospital WiFi is generally a regular free wifi and not very secure.

15 coupontammy January 22, 2015 at 11:17 pm

These are great tips. I am still shocked by how many people I see that don’t keep there phone secure. It only takes a second to put a password on your phone.

16 AngelaLilly January 23, 2015 at 9:26 am

eeks. yes to some but nope to others. My hubby is the one with the iPhone, as you may recall. I have an iPad Air. He does none of these things I know, as I am the one who always ends up doing his updates. bleh. I do all of these things except the security program. I did not even know that smart devices needed such things, especially Apple products (not that your post is specific to Apple LOL).

17 Robyn Wright January 23, 2015 at 11:04 am

Many Apple users are under the impression they do not need security but they do. It is not that they were never vulnerable, but it was just that PCs made up the majority of devices and so hackers focused on those. Malware is the biggest problem on mobile devices right now.

18 AngelaLilly January 23, 2015 at 12:47 pm

I was aware Apples were not infallible, so far as PCs, but did not know that this sort of thing had spread to mobile devices for Apple brand or otherwise! So sad and dumb. Thanks for educating me on this!

19 Kelster February 7, 2015 at 2:28 am

I got some kinda malware on my phone some months ago. Lookout didn’t detect it and I am still not sure what the deal was. I’d visit a page and get a pop-up to download a fishy app. Or it would tell me that my phone was infected. It was very frustrating.

20 Robyn Wright March 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm

If you take your phone into your carriers store they may be able to help you with that. If you are on Verizon check out the Verizon Support and Protection App http://www.verizonwireless.com/support/how-to-use-verizon-support-and-protection/

21 Nate March 25, 2015 at 6:57 am

Some good ideas suggested in this article

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