We recently wrote a blog on password security and how to know if your password really is secure. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it brings to mind mobile security and how to protect all the important data on your phone. Valentine's day is a time where text messages and pictures being sent will be at a high. Most of these messages and pictures are meant for one person’s eyes only. But personal texts and pictures aren't the only things you should protect.
Mobile devices contain email, banking information, contacts and other sensitive information. If someone has access to your phone, they basically have access to your whole life. These 6 simple tips can keep your mobile phone secure even if it happens to get lost or stolen!
1. Password Protect Your Phone
A screen lock is the first place to start. It’s Easy and Smart. Both Android and Iphone mobile devices come with this feature as a stock application but there are many more free applications you can download.
Screen lock applications come in a variety of options. The unlock code can be set as PIN, Pattern, Voice/word or Finger Print depending on the application you choose. Having a screen lock on your phone may save you from the embarrassment of having your Grandma read your text messages when you step away from the dinner table without your phone (true story).
- Stay away from predictable pins. This will make it much easier for someone to break into your phone. Don’t set your pin as your birthday, part of your phone number or some other easily guessable number.
- Hidden Patterns. This application allows you to hide a pattern in a picture; Choose a family photo as your background picture and the pattern can be the birth order or boy girl boy girl. Any pattern you wish.
- Voice Password Feature. This isn't the best screen lock option but it can be useful if you're in a quieter setting. Remember, the voice unlock drawback is you can’t do this silently or in a crowded bar. These applications always allow for an alternate way to unlock the phone. Make sure you set that up too so you're not stuck yelling at your phone.
- Finger Print Recognition. Use one or two fingers from each hand to unlock your phone. This way, whichever pocket you slip your phone into you can easily unlock it.
2. Organize Your Contacts Into Groups
Family Friends, Work, etc. These days it can be difficult to get your contacts organized! Don’t forget an ICE group too.
Having organized groups may prevent the off color text you meant to send to your friend Dave from going to your Boss Dave by accident. But don't forget your ICE groups! ICE contacts are imperative~ ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. This group of people are the ones you would want contacted if an accident occurred or you needed help right away.
3. Set up App Lock
Screen lockers can get annoying but as you have your LIFE on your phone you should take security measures with your personal and financial applications. These apps allow you to lock certain apps or pages of applications.
4. Download a Photo locker app
Save or Hide your pictures (or just some of them) in an app like Gallery Lock. This app has password security protection along with a stealth mode and watchdog feature. It will actually take a picture of the person holding the phone upon their third failed password attempt. Talk about getting caught red handed!
5. Turn on your “locator” app.
Iphones have the find my Iphone and Droids have find my mobile apps. These are so helpful if you have misplaced your phone or left it in the car....again.
6. Install a Lost Phone app
Installing an app like GadgetTrak on your cell phone can be a life saver. If you misplace your phone or if it's stolen you can remotely track it, wipe it and even take a picture with it to see where it is at!
These days, all our sensitive information is on our phones so why not take the time to protect yourself? Mobile security is important especially since we do so many things through our phones. As for pictures and texts, a good rule of thumb to follow is: if you don’t want your Mom to see it don’t send it! Once a text message or image is sent it never truly disappears…so think twice before you snap that Valentine’s Day selfie.