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How to Protect Your Smartphone

In this day and age, our smartphones play an integral part in our daily lives; they allow us to communicate while performing our most important activities all-in-one place. 
Although your phone is a convenient tool, beware activities performed on your cellular device may put your privacy at risk in the event that your phone is lost or stolen. These security tips below will teach you how to better secure your smartphone. 

Lock Your Phone

By setting your phone’s security settings to automatically lock your screen after more than 4 minutes of inactivity, you will prevent others from having access to your information if you are away from your phone, for a short period of time. This is a simple method to prevent anyone from accessing your information.

Enable the “find my phone” Feature

If you happen to misplace or lose your phone, you will save yourself time and potentially money by enabling the “find my phone” feature. By enabling this feature, you will be able to track your device virtually from anywhere as long as the device has some form of internet connection. This feature can also help you instantly wipe out all of your privacy information if your device is unrecoverable. 

Update Your Operating System when Required

Systems updates are an effective way to prevent your device from being vulnerable to fraudulent attacks as hackers are always looking for point of weaknesses in operating systems. Depending on your device, you may be prompted to perform system updates frequently, and it may be time-consuming.  However, software manufacturers release updates frequently to detect security threats early on, and prevent your device from getting affected, which is why you want to perform those updates when prompted. 

Avoid Update Offers from Unofficial Sources

When downloading or updating applications on your cellular device, only download from legitimate sources such Apple’s App Store for iPhone users, and Google Play for Android users. Applications from unknown sources will run you the risk of installing malware on your device, and getting your personal information stolen. 

Be Careful with Unknown Connections

It is recommended to only connect to Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices that you know and trust. It is also important that you enable your phone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings to only automatically connect to networks and devices that you have verified and approve of. By doing so, you will reduce the risk of having your information shared to other devices without your consent. 

Keep Your Personal Information Safe

As your Member’s Watchdog, we encourage you to be your first line of defense against data theft with these tips:
  • Avoid leaving your smartphone unattended
  • Delete links or download offers that you did not request 
  • Do not connect to unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth Devices
  • Enable a lock screen on your smartphone
  • Never install applications from unofficial sources 
  • Never store personal data such as Social Security numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information directly on your phone
  • Send a command to freeze or erase your private information If your smartphone is unrecoverable 
  • Perform updates on your operating system when requested
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