In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October, here are tips from StopThinkConnect.org about safely using mobile devices. It’s important to remember our phones store a great deal of personal information and we must use them wisely to protect it.
The first step is to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
Stop: Make sure security measures are in place.
Think: About the consequences of your actions and behaviors online.
Connect: And enjoy your devices with more peace of mind.
Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it.
- Secure your device – use strong passwords or touch ID features to lock your devices. These security measures can help protect your information if your devices are lost or stolen and keep prying eyes out.
- Think before you app – information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contact list, where you shop and your location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it’s collected through apps.
- Now you see me, now you don’t – some stores and other locations look for devices with WiFi or Bluetooth turned on to track your movements while you are within range. Disable WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use.
- Get savvy about WiFi hotspots – Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you’re doing on your mobile device while you’re connected. Limit what you do on public WiFi and avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services on these networks. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection on the go.
Keep a clean machine:
- Keep your mobile devices and apps up-to-date – Your mobile devices are just as vulnerable as your PC or laptop. Having the most up-to-date security software, web browser, operating system and apps is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.
- Delete when done – Many of us download apps for specific purposes, such as planning a vacation, and no longer need them afterwards, or we may have previously downloaded apps that are no longer useful or interesting to us. It’s a good security practice to delete all apps you no longer use.
For more information about online safety tips, visit StopThinkConnect.org, a global online safety awareness campaign developed by the Anti-Phishing Working Group and National Cyber Security Alliance.
Additionally, Michigan First offer identity theft detection and recovery services for our members. Learn more about our offerings.