How to stay safe with a smartphone

From time to time, we at the business desk are pleased to bring you
articles that can help you to deal more effectively and efficiently with the
wide world of technology. If you are struggling to keep up or are a bit
lost when it comes to being able to do things on your own without having to
ask or pay for help then we invite you to read on.
Today we have a great little article for you;
How to stay safe with a smartphone
We hope you find this article useful. Have a great day.
The business desk team
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A Gaston Bedard contribution

How to stay safe with a smartphone

Simple measures can protect users from loss of device or identity theft

By Victoria Stunt, CBC News, March 05, 2014

Ensuring that a smartphone has a PIN number is one of the simplest ways of
keeping the device secure. (Manu Fernandez/Associated Press)

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Smartphones carry an abundance of private information, enough to compromise
bank accounts or pave the way for identity theft.

Yet smartphones users often have their devices out in the open, risking
theft or having the sensitive data inside compromised.

CBC News consulted security specialists at Symantec Canada for tips on how
stay to safe on your smartphone.

Have a PIN number or password

A PIN number or password is the simplest way to stop the average thief from
looking through a smartphone. Otherwise, if the phone gets into the wrong
it’s easy to get access to the details inside, including passwords, social
media accounts, photos and banking information. A thief could also make
phone calls, leaving the smartphone owner footing the bill.

Put a PIN number or password on the SIM card

Having a PIN number on a phone is not going stop a thief from taking out the
SIM card and inserting it into another phone, where the thief is still able
access the private information. Set a PIN code for the SIM card through the
phone’s settings to secure personal details even further.

Run the latest operating system and download every OS update

Updates often contain changes that will make a smartphone more secure. For
example, Apple’s iOS 7 has a feature called Activation Lock. When the Find
iPhone app is enabled, Activation Lock kicks in and a thief must know the
Apple ID and password to erase and reactivate the device. This makes it hard
for a
thief to sell the phone. Another security feature called Touch ID unlocks
the smartphone by scanning a fingerprint.

Have a security product on board

It’s not something many smartphone users think about, but those devices can
get viruses, too. Installing anti-virus software specifically for
smartphones can
help combat this. A security product that encrypts data on a phone can also
be installed.

Download apps from a trusted source

According to a report by Appthority, a mobile app security firm, 83 per cent
of the most popular apps are associated with security risks and privacy
Only four to five per cent of apps are developed by trusted sources, such as
Apple or Google. The rest can be developed by just about anyone, including

Check out an app’s privacy policy

In tech-savy San Francisco, where these smartphone users are engrossed in
their devices, more than half the robberies reported are iPhone-related.
Margot/Associated Press)

When downloading an app, read its privacy policy to make sure it will not
any of the personal information on the smartphone. According to the report
by Appthority, 39 per cent of paid iOS apps and 16 per cent of paid Android
share data with ad companies.

Don’t let websites cache a smartphone login

Letting websites and apps store passwords allows thieves to gain access to
accounts with sensitive information. Although it’s incredibly convenient to
check emails with a single tap, it’s far safer not to have passwords saved
on a phone.

Register a phone for a Lock Locate Wipe program

With these programs, a smartphone user can lock a phone remotely, use GPS
signals to help locate it and then wipe the phone of its data. Apple’s
Activation lock for iPhone does all this automatically when Find my iPhone
is turned on. Android Device Manager, which was released last summer, does
this as well.

Make sure WiFi networks are secure

Not all WiFi links are legitimate. Some could be set up by people looking to
steal personal information. When using public WiFi, don’t go on sites that
contain private or financial data. Be aware of the additional risk to help
determine which apps or sites to access.

Buy your own VPN (virtual private network)

Obtaining a VPN adds an extra layer of protection. It secures a wireless
internet connection by encrypting the data that passes through the network
to keep data safe. A solution like Norton Hotspot Privacy offers that extra
of protection while accessing the internet via a public or untrusted WiFi.

Don’t leave your smartphone lying around

In tech-savy San Francisco, more than half the robberies reported are
iPhone-related. Keeping the phone out of sight is one of the most obvious
easiest ways to protect it.

Be aware of the risks with e-banking on a smartphone

Banking on a smartphone can put your money and identity at risk. Phones that
allow multiple apps to run at the same time pose the biggest threat when
on a phone; viruses and dangerous software attached to other apps could be
running in the background and monitoring e-banking activities.

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