Top 5 tips for taking care of your personal data

9th April 2014 :: Author: Andrew Cope, Managing Director, Evergreen you leave your house without locking the doors? Would you park your car and leave it unlocked? No-one wants their precious things stolen but when it comes to using mobile devices many have become pretty lapse in safeguarding their data.

Smartphones are no longer just a means of communication where you can make the odd phone call or send a few texts. They are now places where we go to check our emails, do our online shopping, and download and play games. They store our personal information on apps through chat logs, pictures, calendars and notes and multiple credit card details through digital wallet apps or on ecommerce sites.

For convenience you may tick that box that says 'remember my details' as it's your phone and no-one else uses it – right? Wrong.

What happens your phone gets lost or stolen? What happens if you access information on your phone when you're having a coffee and using the café’s free Wi-Fi? Even leaving your phone unattended on your desk at the office could leave your data vulnerable to attack.

If you don't take care of your data then someone else will!

Here are our top 5 tips for keeping your mobile data secure....

 1) Beware of public Wi-Fi hotspots.

You may be pleased that you can access your bank balance whilst munching on a tasty sandwich and sipping a hot Cappuccino whilst stopping mid-shopping trip at your local high street café that offers free Wi-Fi but remember that if you can access the Wi-Fi freely then so can anyone else. If you don't have a secure connection try signing up for a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which allows you to connect to your home network when you're out and about) or better still avoid doing any online shopping or banking in public places.

2) Keep your device up to date with the latest updates.

Most phone/tablet updates are sent to address security vulnerabilities. Accept and install them and be proactive by making sure your device is running the latest version of the operating system.

3) Enable your lock-screen security.

Make sure that you password protect your mobile device or consider downloading a free app such as Auto-wipe or enabling a feature on your device that erases all data from your smartphone after a pre-set number of failed attempts.

4) Turn off settings.

Hackers can access your device through settings such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Location Services. Turn these off when not in use and not only will you be protecting your data but you'll also conserve your battery life too.

 5) Be App Savvy.

  • Don't download a mobile app unless it comes from the original company and not from some other developer advertising to 'download improved version.' This is particularly important when downloading banking or other financial related apps.
  • Do check the app comments and ratings. If there aren't any then it could be fake, so take care before downloading.

  • Do read the terms and conditions carefully before you approve and start downloading an app. Look at what it wants permission to do.
  • Do consider whether you would benefit from an anti-virus program that can track your phone, block it and make back-ups if you lose it.