Whether you are upgrading to the latest model or buying your first smartphone or tablet, you need to secure your device properly from the start. Modern smartphones are closer to supercomputers than traditional telephone handsets, and they need to be secured as if they were computers.
The same is true of tablet computers, yet the owners of these devices often do not take security as seriously as they should. If you doubt the need for smartphone and tablet security, just think about how you use the device. From online banking and financial transactions to email and web surfing, the places you go online leave behind lots of tracks – tracks a criminal could follow to raid your bank account, hijack your email and wreak havoc with your personal and professional life.
With that in mind, here are some smart safety tips to secure your smartphone or tablet from day one. Taking these safety ideas into account can prevent unauthorized access and keep your private information under wraps.
Create a Strong Password
A strong password or PIN is your first line of defense, and it should be the first thing you do once your smartphone or tablet is up and running. Make your password or PIN as long as possible, and use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters whenever you can. The more complex you make your password, the harder it will be for a thief, or anyone else, to crack.
Do not forget to secure your cloud storage space or online backup with a password that is just as strong. One of the great things about modern smartphones and tablets is that they can easily be synced to your cloud account. That means that everything on your phone will end up in the cloud, and if that cloud storage site is not secure, it will be easy for a hacker to access it.
Research the Apps You Plan to Install
You will want to install lots of apps on your new smartphone or tablet, but do a little bit of homework first. Check out the apps, read the reviews and search online for notices of security holes and other issues. Only download apps from trusted sources, and immediately delete any apps that do not perform as expected.
You may want to wait a few weeks before downloading a brand new app. Some security problems are not apparent right away, and you may not learn about them until other people have been using them for a while.
Turn On the Remote Location Features
Smartphones and tablets are highly portable – that is what makes them so useful. But their portability also makes them easy to lose, so protect yourself with remote location features.
Remote location features make it easier to track your lost smartphone or tablet, vastly increasing the odds of getting it back. Before you download a single app, you should make sure the remote tracking features are turned on.
Enable Remote Wiping
The ability to remotely wipe your smartphone or tablet if it is lost or stolen is just as important as the ability to track it. Some smartphones have remote wiping features built in, while others require owners to download a special app. No matter what the situation, having the ability to remotely erase your personal data will give you extra peace of mind.
Protect Yourself with a VPN
Wireless connectivity is one of the best features of any smartphone or tablet, but public Wi-Fi networks are notoriously unreliable and often dangerous. Using a virtual private network (VPN) is one of the best ways to keep you safe when you surf.
Businesses routinely use virtual private networks to protect their data and allow employees to connect to the office network. You can use the same technology to keep your personal surfing secret, especially when you are using the free Wi-Fi at the local coffee shop or similar location.
No matter what kind of smartphone or tablet you own, you need to take steps to protect it. These devices bring a great deal of convenience to our lives, but they also come with their fair share of risks. Taking the time to secure your devices now mitigates the danger and allows you to enjoy the advantages of modern technology.