Smartphones are an increasingly important part of our lives, more than a phone it holds our contact, emails, photos, credit cards, etc.. Losing a phone is more than an inconvenience it could potentially expose personal data and lead to identity theft and fraud.
Below are the basic steps you can take to secure your smartphone. In addition to the blow advice there are OS specific instructions from the left hand menu to extend the security precautions below.
Common Tasks to Secure a Smartphone
Use Common Sense to Avoid Theft
The NU police log is full of instances where a little care could have avoided having a stolen phone. Never leave your phone alone or turn your back, even for a moment. On the subway or bus do not stand near the door holding the phone in one hand. Two hands on the phone will help prevent someone from grabbing it out of your hand. Keep an eye out when using your phone to see if anyone is overly interested in what you are doing or trying to eavesdrop on your password.
Remember, your life is more important than your phone. If you are threatened with harm, give up your phone and report it to NU Public Security or the Boston Police.
Strong Access Password
A password will prevent someone from gaining immediate access to the phone. If the device allows, use a mix of numbers and letters and avoid easily guessable passwords such as 1111 or 0258. Make sure you do not use the same password for other accounts in case it is compromised.
For additional protection set the phone to require the password immediately. The phone will lock when you turn off the screen or put the phone down. This will prevent someone who picks up your phone from immediately placing a call or accessing your information.
Only Store Required Data
The naked pictures repeatedly stolen from celebrities’ phones and leaked to the Internet would not have occurred if the pictures were not on the phone in the first place. Do not store data on your phone that you do not need and would not like exposed on the Internet.
Conduct Regular Backups
Your data will be safe if your phone is stolen or destroyed. iTunes and the iCloud offer ways to save your data and retrieve it in the event of an emergency.
Reduce Location Sharing
Many applications such as Facebook will ask or your current GPS location to update your profile wherever you travel. Criminals could use this data to determine when you are not at home and take that opportunity to steal your possessions. Your location updates could also be used by stalkers and other types of harassment.
Limit the number of applications has access to your current location and do not allow constant updates of your location to the internet.
Additional OS Specific Security Information