Monday 13 January, 2014
We increasingly conduct our lives on mobile devices, which is handy and convenient, but not always safe. Because we do more with mobiles, hackers and cyber criminals are looking for new ways to access our data through mobiles. Your mobile has a wealth about your personal and financial information. A hacker can do a lot of damage when they get ahold of this information.
Most people, when they sit down to a PC to surf the internet, take certain simple precautions to make sure they don’t end up with a computer virus. You should take these exact same precautions when you’re surfing the web on your mobile. Here are a few easy safe surfing tips for mobiles.
Pinch and Zoom
Mobiles are especially risky because of the small screen. You can’t see the same amount of detail as you would on a PC and this is dangerous. Things that would set off alarms on a laptop or PC pass under the radar because you can’t see them clearly. For example, a funny looking link. Pinch and zoom and look carefully at the websites you’re visiting.
Just as with a PC, don’t download anything you don’t know well and trust. In fact, it’s best not to download anything at all. If there’s something you want to download, send the link to yourself and wait until you’re at your PC before you try it. PCs usually have stronger security features.
The same goes for any website you’re not totally sure about. With the small screen it’s hard to tell whether a site is sketchy or not. It’s harder to see security certifications telling you a site is safe. When in doubt, do the same as above. Send the URL to yourself and check it out when you’re on your PC.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Try to stay off of public Wi-Fi networks and if you have to use one, don’t access any sites that require a password or that have personal information. You should also turn off Bluetooth if you’re not using it because it could potentially open your network up to hackers (many mobile devices have Bluetooth as a default setting). Take advantage of your mobile device’s built-in encryption if it has it and if you really want to be safe, use a virtual private network.
Passwords and Pins
Always use a password or pin to lock your mobile. There is all kinds of information on it that a person could access if it falls into the wrong hands. Also, set it up so that you can wipe and lock remotely. Use features like Apple’s Find My Phone in case your phone is stolen. This feature uses GPS to track the missing phone.
You should also install antivirus software on your mobile. This is a no-brainer for PCs and laptops but many people fail to do it on their mobiles.