Set PINs and passwords on your phone’s home screen to prevent unauthorized access to your phone, and set your phone to automatically lock after five minutes or less when your phone is idle.
Don’t modify your smartphone’s security settings. Tampering with your phone’s factory settings, jail breaking, or rooting your phone undermines the built-in security features, making it more susceptible to an attack.
Backup and secure your data such as contacts, documents, and photos. Instead, store these files on your computer, removal storage card, or in the cloud.
Only install apps from trusted sources.. Apps can contain malware that, once installed, can steal information, install viruses, and cause harm to your phone’s contents. Research apps for legitimacy before downloading.
Understand app permissions before accepting them. Be cautious about granting applications access to personal information or access to perform functions on your phone. Check the privacy settings for each app before installing.
Install security apps that enable remote location and wiping. This feature lets you remotely locate and erase all of the data stored on your phone. Some apps can activate a loud alarm even when the phone is set to silent to help you locate and recover your phone when lost.
Accept updates and patches to your smartphone’s software from your service provider, operating system provider, device manufacturer, or application provider. Keeping your system current reduces the risk of exposure to cyber threats.
Be smart on open Wi-Fi networks, where your phone can be an easy target of cybercriminals. Limit use of public hotspots. Instead, use protected Wi-Fi from a network operator you trust or mobile wireless connection, especially when accessing personal or sensitive information. Always be cautious when clicking web links particularly when you are asked to enter account or log-in information.
Wipe data on your old phone before you donate, resell, or recycle it. Protect your privacy, by completely erasing data off of your phone and reset the phone to its initial factory settings.
Report a stolen smartphone. The major wireless service providers, in coordination with the FCC, have established a stolen phone database. Report the theft of your phone to local law enforcement authorities and register the stolen phone with your wireless provider.