These days, we are all at risk of a potential cyber-attack.
It’s not just the massive corporations that you read about in the headlines, but individuals too. Every day, shadowy entities use various clever means to breach accounts and access private and often very sensitive information.
As a result, it’s vital that you take the following appropriate precautions to keep your mobile devices safe.
1. Keep your mobile device locked
Keeping your mobile device locked when not in use is critical. By doing so, if your device is stolen, your personal information will be less likely to be accessed and traded. A locked device means that hackers will spend some time unlocking it. This, in turn, will give you the chance to notify the authorities and your bank, log out of all your social media and email accounts, and block your device.
2. Use strong passwords
Use strong passwords. While your birthday, name, “Password1”, and patterns such as 1234 might be convenient choices, they make it easy for malicious agents to access your mobile device.
Ideally, your password should be longer than eight characters and contain a mix of numbers, letters, and special symbols. Additionally, you should resist the urge of using the same password for multiple accounts.
Fortunately, you can now easily access password managers that will store all of your passwords securely in one convenient location.
3. Dispose of old files and devices carefully
If there are any redundant files or aging company devices that need to be disposed of, it’s crucial that you do so safely, so no one can find and access them. Any old phones or tablets that need to be thrown out should be carefully wiped out of any personal data. You may want to consider hiring a specialist to make sure this is done thoroughly, thereby preventing anyone unscrupulous from gaining access to information they shouldn’t see.
4. Beware of suspicious messages and files
It is not unusual to receive unsolicited calls, text messages, and/or emails. While some of them may be harmless marketing campaigns, others may be more malicious. Bear in mind that spam calls and messages – however low-risk they might seem – are a way for scammers to unleash phishing attacks.
Victims of phishing tend to be manipulated to disclose sensitive data such as login credentials or bank details. They believe that they are being contacted by legitimate institutions or companies such as banks, governmental agencies, and delivery services.
Should you receive a suspicious call or email, do not interact with it nor provide your sensitive information. Instead, get in touch with the bank or company first, and take the necessary steps to block the caller or sender.
If you find that the level of spam you receive on your mobile device continues to increase, you should be wary of who has gotten a hold of your details. Unbeknownst to you, your phone number, email address, social security number, and other identifiable information might have ended up on data brokers’ sites.
Fortunately, it is possible to opt out of such databases by filling in the forms available on their websites.
Your personal information is incredibly valuable for cybercriminals. You can follow several measures to keep your mobile devices secure and your data private. As mentioned above, locking your device, using strong passwords, carefully disposing of old phones or tablets, beware of spam, and opting out of data brokers are necessary steps to take.