First, A Few Startling Statistics …
Consumers Reports recently said that, of the 100 million adult smartphone users, only 39% take minimal security measures. It also shared that a projected 7.1 million phones will either be lost or permanently damaged this year. Of these, only 31% will have backed up their information. And just 22% installed software to locate their phone.
Also alarming, an estimated 5.1 million young adults own smartphones. They innocently place themselves at risk every day by sharing information with their phone.
Our Favorite Smartphone Safety Tips:
- Use a strong password or PIN. Even a basic four-digit code is better than none; try an even longer, more complicated code for added security. Include letters and symbols, for superior strength.
- Be careful with apps. Valid, brand-name apps are fine, but imposters exist and can cause damage. iPhone users are limited to Apple’s App Store – which is safe. Android users have more options. If you’re an Android user, stick with the two most reputable app sources: Google Play and Amazon’s Appstore.
- Disable location tracking. It’s a great feature for getting driving directions, but keep it off otherwise. Only one in three smartphone owners surveyed by Consumer Reports had turned it off at times during the previous year. Keeping it enabled for Facebook posts and Twitter puts you at risk for unauthorized users capturing the data.
From Microsoft: Think carefully before you turn on geotagging; limit the apps that you allow to access your location and link to social media with care; get permission from others before you tag them in photos or check them in.
- Use a phone finder. This software will help you to FIND a lost or stolen phone.
- Accept incoming content cautiously. If a text message sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- Back up your phone. Back up your data to your computer or cloud storage to access information without interruption.
- Out with the old: clean your phone! Before you sell or recycle your phone, remove its memory card, restore factory settings and ensure all susceptible or unique data is permanently deleted.
At Connexus Credit Union, keeping your information private is our top priority. No one wants their information compromised, especially when data can be easily accessible by smartphone. Protect yourself by taking a few extra precautions. Visit the Connexus Security Center and blog for more important safety tips.