Once upon a time and not so long ago, mobile phones were used to only make phone calls and send text messages. Somewhere along the line as technology grew, phones became the one-stop shop for anything and everything. Now millions of people around the world, are glued to their mobile devices and use them to watch movies, play games, get turn-by-turn directions, find news, read books, listen to music, hail taxis, pay friends, do their banking, and more. As you read this sentence, I’m almost willing to bet that you are probably reading it on your mobile phone. 😉
While mobile devices are convenient, this convenience can cost you a pretty penny if you don’t play it safe. According to the White House, cybersecurity is one of the most important challenges we face as a Nation. With many unscrupulous people out there, some apps may pose a big threat to your personal information and wellbeing. Although app makers promise to protect your privacy, many data breaches have occurred, and while the Federal Trade Commission is doing its best to enforce privacy promises, you must be diligent in protecting yourself. Being diligent will make you a savvy mobile app user.
The following are four security tips that all savvy mobile app users can use to protect themselves.
1. Protect your device.
In the wrong hands, sensitive information, including personal financial information and personal contacts, stored on your mobile device can cause a lot of damage. Keeping your phone or tablet in a safe
and secure place will help to mitigate the risk of unauthorized access. Lock your device with a password that is easy enough for you to remember, but complicated enough that it can’t be guessed easily. Try using a password that consists of a combination of numbers, and letters (both upper case and lower case), and special characters.
2. ONLY download apps from trusted sources.
3. Turn off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® when not in use.
While Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® are convenient ways to connect your device, thieves can use your connection to access your files. Turning off your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth® connection when you are not using it, will help to keep your information safe from hackers. Avoid open or public Wi-Fi connections. When you connect to an unsecured network, you invite others to view your private information.
4. Do not store usernames and passwords.
Sometimes easy isn’t safe. While granting permission for a website that you visit frequently to remember your username and password allows for faster and easier access, it is also very dangerous to your personal information. This is especially true of financial apps or websites that contain your personal information. If you use your mobile device to bank or shop, completely log out when you are finished. Avoid banking or shopping on your mobile device while on public Wi-Fi.
Proactively protecting your personal information can help you prevent identity theft and officially makes you a savvy mobile app user. Mobile devices were created for convenience, but don’t let convenience put you at risk.
I want to hear from you. What are some other tips you can share that can help you protect yourself while using mobile devices? Comment below!
The views and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of BankMobile. The blogs are intended as general financial knowledge that may or may not be applicable to your individual needs. Always contact your accountant for tax advice.
All company/product/service mentions in this post are not intended as an endorsement and the views of that company do not represent the views of BankMobile or Customers Bank.