With technology advancing as quickly as it is, it seems like it’s always time for a new smartphone, tablet or other gadget. When you get it, you probably can’t wait to turn it on and see what it can do. But as you set up your new device, that’s the perfect time to set up your safety features to better protect yourself from the bad guys.
Here are a few tips to get started.
Set Up Strong Personal Security
Depending on the kind of device, there are multiple ways to lock and unlock it, including passcode, fingerprint, pattern-based lock or facial recognition. Use a long passcode number or a passphrase to strengthen the security. Short codes are easier to break. The pattern-based lock is less secure because scammers can trace the trail your fingers leave on the screen.
Adjust the time it takes before your phone to automatically lock. The shorter, the better – this helps prevent a bad guy from picking up an unattended phone and getting past your lock screen.
Most phones come with the option for encryption. Enable this feature. The device will then translate your data and information into a secret code that is hard for fraudsters to see.
Keep Your Phone Updated
Many people think the newest smartphones always include the latest operating systems. However, some phone-makers roll out updates within weeks after launching a new device. It’s important to update your operating system and apps regularly to make sure you have the latest security features.
Download Trusted Apps
Bad guys often create apps that promise one thing, but also steal passwords, get your personal information and potentially take over your phone. Make sure you only install trustworthy apps, and download a security protection app such as AT&T Mobile Security. Read more about app safety in this Cyber Aware blog.
Make sure your old device is ready to say “goodbye.”
When you turn in your old device, make sure you don’t trade in all your personal information, too. Watch this Cyber Aware video for the 4 steps before you get a new phone.
Also, remember to back-up your data often. If you ever lose your phone or its contents, you’ll still have another place where your photos, files and contacts are stored.
Taking these steps and precautions when you set up your new device will help protect your personal information.