As the sun stays out later and the snow melts away, people are breaking out of hibernation. We no longer act as shut-ins on the weekends, hiding from the blistering cold of winter. Instead, we celebrate by shutting down the laptops and TVs, and going outside! Since everyone can’t stay away from being connected and sharing their “Rosé all day” social media posts and pictures with friends at a BBQ, we take our phones with us; after all, they’re called mobile phones! The convenience of mobile phones is great, but, just like computers, they can be extremely dangerous to the integrity of your data. If you’re out of the house and you urgently need to connect to the internet (and maybe you’re running out of your monthly data), you are more likely to connect to a suspicious Wi-Fi network. Phones are still essentially computers, which means that they are also vulnerable to things such as network spoofing, spyware, and phishing. Fun fact: today’s smartphones have more computing power than the computers NASA used to send Neil Armstrong to the moon. Crazy!
Here are some tips to protect your mobile data:
Luckily, iPhones have encryption built into the operating system (OS) if the user takes advantage of the password feature (which we highly recommend). Other mobile devices have built-in encryption methods that are commonly demonstrated via YouTube videos1 if the user struggles to take advantage of the feature.
A lot of people don’t even know their smartphones can update. Apple’s updates are usually very upfront about update notifications, with a prompt asking you to update several times a day until you complete it. Other companies are a little more relaxed, which is not ideal for security. Look up the current software version for your mobile device and make sure your phone has that version to remain secure.
Would you download apps from a website that you have never heard of on your computer at work? We would hope not. So, would you do this on your personal, mobile computer, AKA your smartphone? We hope you wouldn’t. Think twice and do research before downloading applications to prevent downloading malicious software.
By: Matthew McCaffrey