RESEARCH BLOG

Quick tips for keeping your smartphone and tablet safe

 

Even America’s sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence isn’t immune to a smartphone breach. The actress was one of the many celebrity victims of the infamous iCloud hack that went viral back in September. Suddenly, Lawrence’s very private photos were out there for the world to view.

“A smartphone hack can happen to anyone – even you.”

There are some daily life challenges that are unique to major celebrities, including dodging paparazzi and relinquishing any claim to anonymity. But the scary thing about the iCloud hack is that it could happen to anyone – even you.

The need to defend your mobile devices

Desktop computers stay put. Laptops go places, but those places usually have to have plugs and a table. But smartphones and tablets – they can go anywhere. And they do.

According to a 2014 industry report, the average person with a smartphone spends 3.3 hours a day on that device. For a tablet, it’s 3.1 hours.

Those with tablets spend over three hours on them per day.

Those with tablets spend over three hours on them per day.

These hours are hardly confined to a user’s house. A mobile device can follow you everywhere, from the store where you get your groceries to the subway train you take to work. But another, unwanted presence can follow you too: hackers. Here are some key steps you can take to secure your mobile devices:

  • Have a passcode: This is just about the easiest step you can take to secure your tablet or smartphone from an unwanted intruder. By making sure you have to enter a passcode (usually four numerical digits) every time you use your device, you can keep out a malicious person who physically gets ahold of the machine.
  • Don’t download shady apps: There are a lot of apps out there – and there are also a lot of malware-based ones in the mix. When downloading apps online, always make sure you can verify the legitimacy of the app. Read customer reviews, do a little research. And if you’re still in doubt, don’t download it.
  • Make sure “Do not track” is enabled: As a recent CNET article pointed out, the Do Not Track option on mobile devices will potentially limit the amount of data that’s collected on you. It’s hardly a fail-proof solution, but it’s a good precautionary measure.
  • Get a mobile security package: Physically securing your phone via passcodes is important, but it’s necessary to point out that most threats won’t come in physical form. Instead, hackers will try and commandeer your mobile device through viruses, spyware and other virtual means of attack. To guard against these significant threats, you need to install a mobile security package that provides comprehensive and real-time protection against malicious elements. A good mobile protection solution is one that also offers remote backup/restore options in case your device crashes and needs a reboot.

Our world is highly mobilized, and in most ways that makes life easier. But hackers are also having an easier time these days launching attacks on unsuspecting mobile users. Don’t become a target of a hack like this.  Instead, defend yourself.