Be Smart About Smartphone Safety
In this age, smartphones are undoubtedly one of the most popular pieces of technology on the market. Apart from misplacing or having your smartphone stolen, there are many other risks that go with owning a smartphone:
Spyware – Your smartphone is a computer and your apps can be infected with spyware, just like a laptop or PC. Once spyware has infected your phone, criminals can read your texts and emails, listen to your calls, see your photos and track your location. Symptoms of spyware infection include:
• A flickering home screen.
• A warm battery or reduced battery life, even when the phone isn’t being used.
• Unexplained outgoing texts on your phone bill
Geotagging – Digital photos are often “geotagged”. They’re encoded with a GPS stamp to show where the photo was taken. Criminals can use this information to stalk people, case a location or steal identities.
Identify Theft – If a criminal is able to gain access to your social media via your smartphone, they have access to a ton of personal information. Information that you share publicly can be used to glean passwords or security questions.
Protecting Yourself Against Attack
• Always lock your phone with a password or code.
• Install security updates and anti-virus software.
• Read the terms and conditions when installing apps. This will notify you how your data will be gathered and used.
• Delete suspicious emails. Don’t click suspicious links.
• Update your operating system regularly.
• Don’t store passwords on your phone.
• Don’t use public wi-fi to connect to the internet. Stick with a 3G or 4G connection.
• Disable geotagging in your phone’s settings.
• Use any data encryption features your phone may have.
• If available, enroll in the manufacturer or wireless carrier’s backup/wiping program.
If Your Smartphone is Lost or Stolen
Have your phone wiped if you belong to a backup/wiping program. If you don’t belong to a backup/wiping program, report the phone missing to your local police. Sign up for fraud alerts, credit monitoring and keep a close eye on your bank and credit card accounts. If you replace your smartphone, make sure to wipe the memory and restore the factory settings. If the SIM card will not be transferred to a new phone, destroy it.