The mobile industry has seen incredible growth that is only expected to continue. Over the 2012 holidays, mobile commerce reached approximately $18.6 billion, with another 15 percent growth in mobile commerce possible by the end of this year, according to Business Insider. With the increasing amount of mobile transactions taking place, more private information is being stored on your phone and shared with mobile providers than ever before. It is important that during this intense growth of the mobile world that you are protected and will be able to keep the personal information on your phone private. The following are some helpful tips to keep you and your smartphone safe:
- Put a lock on your phone: Only 30 percent of people lock their smartphone. Furthermore, most of this 30 percent uses simple passwords such as “1-2-3-4.” Using a password that is a little bit more difficult is an intelligent thing to do. This will most likely deter any possible intruder from accessing your phone. After all, there are another 70 percent of people in the smartphone population that do not have locks on their phones at all.
- Use a GPS tracker: Personally, I have installed the “Find My iPhone” app. It is simple to access from another device and track down the lost phone to get back before it is accessed by someone else. There are also other apps that can wipe information from your phone if necessary when it is lost or stolen. This will lessen the damage that could be done by anyone should your phone go missing.
- Do not stay logged in to email, banks, and any apps that contain sensitive information: If your phone is accessed by someone with dishonorable intentions, chances are that you are unaware that they are looking through your phone and they do not know your passwords. If you are logged out of important apps such as your email or mobile banking app, this could slow down the intruder or once again, deter him or her completely.
- Do not use the same password for everything: This is a terrible idea. A person figures out one password and they’ve gained access to your email, Facebook, Twitter, bank accounts, PayPal, etc. They could spend a lot of your money and put up an embarrassing Facebook status in one fell swoop.
- Get a mobile security app: Due to the fact that you can back up information on your iPhone and security is mainly satisfied by Apple’s software, there is less of a need for a security app. However, if you are an Android user, you may want to find (at least) a free security app at the Google app store. Check out some recommendations from PC Mag.
- Lastly, use password protection: People may try to access a sensitive application on your phone such as email or banking. You can take precautionary measures to make sure that your accounts do not get hacked. There are apps for extra password protection that require not only a password but a four-digit security code to access the private information about usernames and passwords you keep on your phone. If it is completely necessary for you to store that type of information on your phone (due to bad memory or necessary easy access), at least take an extra step to make sure it is difficult for any intruder to find.
With the growth of mobile, people need to be aware that they will be a target of attacks due to the valuable information now stored on phones. These are just some of the safety measures that you can take with your mobile phone. They are simple steps that would only take a few minutes but could save you a lot of trouble and worry in the future.
Emily Clairmont is a marketing intern for Airfoil, a high-tech PR and marcomm firm with offices in Silicon Valley and Detroit.