Peace of mind while still using your phone to it’s full potential

You’ve just put your new smartphone back in your pocket. In the last half hour you’ve paid your bills, posted on Facebook, exchanged emails, setup appointments, and searched for the newest and most entertaining APPs. “This thing is amazing!” you think to yourself “I just hope that everything I’m doing stays private…”

Now that smartphones are generally accepted as appropriate vessels for personal as well as business use, the risks associated with owning one are greater than ever. There are two major risk factors to consider; your device physically ending up in the hands of a moral wrongdoer or your device being targeted by malware1. If you lose your phone, without protection, whoever finds it could easily access personal data, banking information, or even confidential work documents. On the other side of the spectrum, cyber criminals are beginning to target smartphones with malware and Trojans2 for the purposes of data theft. Not to fear; there are ways to protect yourself and best practices to follow which will help to ensure that your information is safe. The very first step in securing your phone is to setup a difficult password/pattern to unlock it, and an automatic phone lock of about 1 minute. These two options are the most basic available, and are usually found in device settings. The next step is to find a program that will allow you to remotely track your phone, lock your phone and wipe it’s data, all from a PC. These programs are offered at a small price or even free., and are two of the most popular for Android and iOS respectively. These programs can essentially ensure that, as soon as you are aware that your phone is lost, you can try to locate it, lock it while you look for and, in the worst case scenario wipe the entire hard drive and SD Card clean. The final step to securing your phone is to look for an anti-virus software. Yes that’s right, antiviruses are now available for smartphones. Two popular vendors who offer free protection are AVG, as well as Lookout Inc.

These steps will start you on the right path to giving you peace of mind while still using your phone to its full potential. After all, what good is a smartphone if you’re too afraid to use it?

1Malware – malicious programs designed to damage or steal information
2Trojan – appears to perform designated function, instead harms the system