Want a stranger using your phone?

Posted on August 28, 2011


What happens if your mobile device gets lost or someone just borrows it for a minute? It contains a list of your most recent phone calls and your contact list. It can be used to access Facebook or Linkedin. It may contain a list of your passwords to sites you visit regularly.

Do you bank or check your stocks through the phone? A Consumers Union survey, found that 9 percent of mobile phone owners used it for banking.

Losing a mobile device no matter what its brand is a bigger security risk than infecting it with malicious software.  The hardest part is figuring out what the device’s instructions call the processes to protect you.

Protect data against loss with a PIN on an Android device and a passcode on an iPhone or iPad.

  • On Android devices, under “Settings” look for “Location & Security” then, “Change Screen lock”
  • Go to “Settings” on an iPhone or iPad, under “General,” then follow the instructions under “Passcode Lock.”

There are lots of other precautions you should do. I’ll cover these in other posts, including:

  • Regularly update software. Updates often close security holes.
  • Backup your mobile device data to another device, either a computer or to iTunes.
  • Turn off the GPS except when an application you want to use, needs it. Then, turn it off.
  • There are two processes when installing an app, download and install. Before installing an app, you should check the “permissions” it requests.  If it wants permission to use something and you don’t understand why — don’t install the app.
  • Install an app to find and disable your phone if it is lost or stolen. On Android devices use Prey.  On an iPhone or iPad, use Find iPhone.

If you have mobile devices with other operating systems, I’d appreciate you adding security information in the comments.

I’m doing the security precautions in bite size lessons so everyone from beginner to expert mobile device user can make sure they have security on their phone or tablet.