Tips to follow that will help you stay safe and secure while using your mobile device.

Mobile devices, such as smartphones, can contain tremendous amounts of personal information and provide quick and convenient access to personal services like email, social networking, online banking, and internet shopping. Lost, stolen, and hacked devices can be used to gather information about you and potentially others, and could result in intellectual property, monetary, or identity theft. You should protect and use your mobile device securely as you would your computer, even being more vigilant due to the portable and intimate nature of these devices.

Apply Updates and Use Security Features

  • Keep your device operating system and applications updated.
  • Use a complex password or PIN on your device with a short auto-lock timeout period.
  • Use known secure wireless networks that utilize encryption and refrain from using public Wi-Fi.
  • Disable network features such as Bluetooth and location services if they are not needed.
  • Encrypt the data on your device if your device supports it.
  • Configure services such as email to use encryption.

Practice Safe and Secure Mobile Computing

  • Avoid using or storing confidential information on the device.
  • Be aware of shoulder surfing. Don't let others watch you type in your PIN and passwords.
  • Be cautious when opening links and attachments in text messages, email, and social networks.
  • When logging into websites, doing online banking, and Internet shopping, pay attention to the URL and be sure the site is security enabled (https in front of the URL).
  • Avoid features that store or remember your username and password.
  • Do not "root" or "jailbreak" your device. Doing so can compromise the security of the device and increases the risk of malware such as software Trojans, backdoors, and other viruses.
  • Avoid installing unnecessary applications and make sure they are from reputable sources.
  • Avoid clicking on advertisements within applications.
  • Read user agreements and understand what they mean.

Protect Your Mobile Device and Data from being Lost or Stolen

  • Regularly backup your device and its data to a secure computer or cloud storage service.
  • Do not leave your device unattended in public places, visible in a parked car, or checked with luggage during a flight.
  • Report any lost or stolen devices immediately.
  • Enroll your device in "Find My iPhone" or a comparable service which can help you locate and/or remotely wipe it in the event that it is lost or stolen.
  • Fill out the "owner information" section in device settings (if your device supports this) so that your name and contact information will appear on the lock screen, making it easy to return in the event that it is lost.

Properly Dispose of Your Device and Its Data

  • Make certain that all data is wiped from the device before attempting to recycle, donate, or sell it. For working devices, this can be done by doing a factory reset or "erase of all content and settings." Be sure to backup and/or transfer your data before you do this. For broken devices, the flash memory should be physically destroyed.
  • Devices that are no longer wanted or working, that are not donated or sold, should be properly recycled.