Tips to Protect Your Smartphone


Security Tips

With smartphones playing a critical role in our everyday lives, personal security is becoming increasingly important. Mobile security is more advanced than ever before, but scammers are also getting smarter in their tactics. 

When it comes to your smartphone, there are many precautions you can take to eliminate the risk of fraud and increase security measures. Follow these tips to keep your smartphone – and the information on it – secure. 

Hand holding a smartphone with a lock icon

1. Use the passcode function on your smartphone
Most smartphones, regardless of the make and model, have a passcode or password functionality. Utilize this feature with a complicated series of numbers to ensure your personal information and details are safe should your smartphone be lost or stolen. 

2. Take advantage of fingerprint and facial recognition for apps
Fingerprint and facial recognition on your smartphone can be an additional layer of security for mobile applications requiring a password. If this is a feature on your smartphone and a security feature offered in your preferred mobile apps, it can not only make your life easier, but keep your personal information safe.

3. Turn off location services in your settings 
Location services can be convenient when sharing on social media; however, by authorizing social applications access to your physical locations, it can be dangerous in certain circumstances. Unless you have a specific reason for doing so, disable the service when you’re on the go. 

4. Do not use unsecured, public WiFi
Only access mobile apps and Internet browsers with your smartphone on a secure, trusted WiFi signal. A public network or free WiFi is not always secure and it can be relatively easy for cyber criminals to gather your personal information. 

5. Consider a privacy screen protector
If you’re often in crowds, lecture halls, or conferences, a privacy screen protector provides a barrier between you and potential peeping Toms. The privacy screen can make it less likely for those around you to gather usernames, passwords, account numbers, and other personal information. 

6. Keep your phone up-to-date with automatic updates 
When it comes to keeping your device guarded with the latest in security, consider automatic updates for your smartphone. Your device operating system and mobile app developers are constantly releasing versions and bug fixes to reduce your vulnerability to fraud. 

7. If you’re not expecting a call from an unknown number, resort to voicemail
Phone calls from fraudsters or robo callers are now the new norm. When in doubt, let unknown numbers rollover to voicemail. If it’s important or an urgent matter, the caller can leave a message. 

8. Don’t respond to text messages and emails from unknown senders
Beware of unsolicited text and email messages asking you to download an attachment, click on a link, or provide any personal information. While the task may seem simple, it could be a phishing attempt from cyber criminal. 

9. Use strong, complicated passwords for every mobile app
Where it may seem easy to choose the “Log in with Facebook” option, it is important to keep all of your username and passwords separate for each account and mobile app. Create complicated passwords, steer clear of known personal information, and change passwords regularly. 

It only takes one misstep to land your personal information into the hands of the wrong person. If you are the victim of fraud, call SEFCU immediately to report it. To learn about other ways to protect your confidential information, visit SEFCU’s Privacy & Security Center.