Today’s smartphones put the power of computing in the palm of your hand. Unfortunately, smartphones are also at risk of the same types of cyber threats that impact other computers and networks. In fact, mobile devices now account for more than 60 percent of digital fraud. Here are some tips you can use to stay safe.
Avoid using public USB charging stations. Your phone battery is about to die, but you’ve just found a public charging station. Not so fast! When you connect your phone to a USB charging port, you may also be opening your phone to transmitting data over that port. Consider carrying a wall plug or portable charging pack when you’re away from home.
Use caution with public Wi-Fi networks. Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient but less secure than private networks. In some cases, cybercriminals may set up a Wi-Fi network that looks genuine but steals data of devices that use it. If you use public Wi-Fi, be sure to use a VPN (virtual private network) app to secure your connection.
Review apps on your phone. Chances are you have a lot of apps on your phone, and you may have routinely approved permission requests that allow those apps to access your contacts, camera, and more. Review apps on your phone, delete any you don’t use, and check your permission list to be sure you trust the apps you do use.
Don’t reuse passwords. Are you using the same one or two passwords for every app or site? A single breach at one of those sites can put you at serious risk. Use unique passwords and consider an encrypted password vault application to manage them.
Know the signs of phishing. Phishing is when hackers send you an email, text, or social message from what looks like a legitimate, trusted sender. Clicking on links in those messages takes you to fraudulent websites that attempt to get your account information or transmit viruses. Be wary of any message from a sender you don’t know and trust. Check out more about phishing here.