Mobile Device Security Guidelines

There are no smartphones that are entirely secure or “hack-proof,” though some are better than others. In fact, many companies focus on creating phones that are more secure and difficult for hackers to access. However it’s not necessary to go out and buy a special phone to protect your privacy and secure your data. It is advisable that mobile phone users adhere to these general mobile device security guidelines:

Here are some security tips to help keep your phone secure:

  1. Don’t ever open any e-mail links, even if you think the sender is familiar. Phishing scams can happen on any device and can lure you into clicking infected links or entering sensitive credentials on spoofed sites.
  2. Use a different password for every account you own, and don’t save them in your browser. Instead, use a password manager to store your login credentials.
  3. Keep your devices disconnected from the internet when not using them.
  4. Always back up your smartphone’s data.
  5. Disable geo-tagging when posting online. Hackers can find out a lot of information, such as where you live and work and other sensitive details about you just by looking at the “exif” data embedded in mobile photos when GPS is enabled.
  6. For GPS, don’t set a “home” or “work” location on any of your navigation apps.
  7. When your phone is connected to public Wi-Fi, avoid visiting websites that contain sensitive or financial information, like your bank or credit card’s website.
  8. Set up a remote-wipe feature on your phone. If your phone gets missing, you can delete all of the sensitive information from it immediately. Generally, additional features that locate and lock your device are usually in the same software.
  9. Always update your phone when prompted. These updates are meant to protect your device and information.
  10. Lock your device with a password. A lost or stolen device that is not password protected allows anyone to access email and all other critical accounts connected to your mobile device.
  11. Don’t download apps from third-party sites. Only use official apps from Google Play or Apple Store.
  12. Use cloud storage that is encrypted for your personal information, and enable two factor authentication for all critical accounts such as iCloud, PayPal and even Facebook and Twitter.
  13. Go through all apps to see what information they are accessing – you might be surprised what you have agreed to when downloading the app.
  14. Install antivirus software on Android devices – generally speaking, iPhones don’t have or need antivirus software, but Android devices definitely do.
  15. Do not “Root” your Android or “Jailbreak” your iPhone. This is a process that gives you complete access of your device, but in doing so, removes many of the safeguards that the manufacturers have put in place.

Help protect yourself by following these tips – remember, consumers who are lazy with their mobile device security become easy targets for hackers and other cyber criminals.

Article Submitted by:

New Media and Information Security Department

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)