6 tips for smartphone security | Mana Blog... for all
Mar 12, 2012

Smartphones, tablet computers and mobile internet access are now a big part of everyday life. The new devices are fast becoming ubiquitous but users leave more and more data tracks behind as they use them and sometimes may offer third parties unwanted insight into private information.

How can mobile devices be used securely? The German Federal Ministry for Consumer Protection has put together some tips.

User access protection
Both the SIM card's PIN and the device lockout code should not be deactivated. It's also recommended to immediately change the pre-set lockout code from the manufacturer and renew it in regular intervals.

Deactivate wireless services
If Wi-Fi or Bluetooth are not needed on the phone or tablet, they should be shut off. Otherwise they could be used by hackers as a way into your system.

Be cautious during hotspot surfing
Users should always be cautious about surfing in public WiFi networks. Individuals should be especially sceptical in unprotected or poorly protected WiFi zones. The same goes for networks that are only protected by the standard WPA instead of the successor WPA2. This allows for data - including sensitive access data - to be easily intercepted. It is recommended to avoid open WiFi networks if the data traffic of the website being visited is not continuously encrypted - which can be seen on the https in the address.

Control location
Those who do not want a movement profile created should shut off their phone's GPS function and only activate it when it's actually needed. And individuals should avoid apps that want to access location information without any apparent reason.

Apps only from trustworthy sources
Apps can have access to a lot of data or functions. To minimize your own risk, individuals should search in the internet for information about the manufacturers as well as user comments about the apps. In general, if the app demands more rights than seem necessary, then avoid the installation or if possible do not give permission for the unnecessary rights.

Install security updates
Users should always keep mobile operating systems and all apps at the most up-to-date status. React quickly if you lose your phone: If a phone is stolen or lost, the SIM card should immediately be blocked by the mobile communications provider. Many manufacturers offer blockage and remote wipe functions. These can also be upgraded with apps.

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