By: Amy Johnsonbaugh
October 26, 2015
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, meaning it’s a great time to start seriously considering your privacy and how safe your personal information is online.
One of the best places to start is that little computer in your pocket: your mobile device.
Your smartphone or tablet stores and accesses a lot more data than you realize. It has access to banking information, health information, photos, personal emails, work emails and documents, notes, texts, social networks, shopping apps, your location and the list goes on and on.
That data needs to be protected! Which means you need to start thinking mobile this October.
If you want a place to start, here are three quick tips to get you on the right road to staying safe on mobile:
- Don’t put your passwords in your contacts! Did you know that people actually “hide” their passwords in their smartphone’s contacts app? Many people don’t realize that what they’re doing is actually quite the opposite of “hiding.” Believe it or not, many applications -- not to mention malicious ones -- actually access contacts. It’s better to use password managers like 1Password to protect your passwords.
- Always update your phone’s software. Those app and operating system updates may just say they are for, “Bugs” or “Feature fixes,” but in fact there may be some critical security improvements that you want to make sure you have. It’s best to be in the habit of keeping your phone up to date.
- Don’t connect to public Wi-Fi. It may be tempting to send an email or do a bank transaction while you’re on the go, but surfing public Wi-Fi could put you at risk of a man-in-the-middle attack, whereby an attacker can sit on the Wi-Fi connection and spy on the data transfer. If you must, use a VPN, but it’s otherwise best to stick to your Sprint 4G/LTE!
We also suggest you install a mobile security app, like Lookout, which works behind the scenes to keep your device and everything on it safe from hackers and thieves. Sprint offers Lookout for iOS and Android devices, available preloaded on certain Android devices, in-store and online. You can also download Lookout on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
As you become more cybersecurity aware this month, keep your mobile device top of mind. There’s more information worth protecting on your phone than you think!
Amy Johnsonbaugh is a communications manager for the Apps and Services team at Sprint. Based in Orange County, Calif., she is a mobile lifestyle expert who can answer questions related to Sprint-branded or third-party consumer applications, music/entertainment applications and family service applications. Amy can be reached at email@example.com.