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7 Mobile Device Security Tips

By Robyn Wright

We carry around a lot of information on our smartphones and tablets. Even if the information is not actually stored on our devices, they provide access to that data through apps and other cloud services.

However we use our smartphones and tablets, it’s important that we take steps to secure them, so our information is protected from hackers and thieves. Some may try and steal data over open connections; others may attempt to steal the device itself. Here are 7 tips on how to keep your information and devices secure.

1. Update Apps and Operating Systems

While updates can fix bugs and other small problems in apps or operating systems, they also fix security issues. It is imperative that you keep your apps and operating systems up to date on all your devices.

2. Lock Your Device

Set up a numeric code, a swipe pattern, or fingerprint recognition to protect the information on your device from thieves and prying eyes. Check Settings/Security to see what your screen lock options are.

3. Activate a Device Finder

There are lots of apps available to help locate a lost device. Install the app of your choice and get it set up so that you can find your phone if it’s lost or stolen.

4. Use Caution with Open Wi-Fi Networks

Free Wi-Fi is nice to have at the local coffee shop, but most networks are open, which means that they lack a firewall or any other security features. While that might be OK for web surfing, it’s not OK for online banking or handling other sensitive transactions. If in doubt, use you wireless data plan instead.

5. No Jailbreaking

“Jailbreaking” a device is the act of modifying the operating system to add third-party apps or another level of customization. When you jailbreak a device, you can also weaken the security features and put yourself at a higher risk for theft.

6. Only Download Reputable Apps

Only download apps from reliable sources, and even then use caution. Some harmful apps can slip through the vetting process. Look for apps with good ratings, lots of downloads, and established developer support.

7. Use Your Wireless Provider’s Tools

All major carriers have a selection of security tools available. For example, Verizon Family Safeguards & Controls feature several different types of controls that can increase security and provide peace of mind for all your family members.

Have you ever had a mobile device stolen? Is your data vulnerable? What steps have you taken to minimize the risk?

Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!