Secure your smartphone: 7 tips
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month in Canada. As a result, we’re highlighting some tips you can use to keep your digital activities safe and secure.
Smartphones are often a source of security breaches. Consider these seven tips, which can have a big impact on keeping your device secure.
Related: Secure your laptop/computer: 6 tips
Set a strong password and use biometrics
Unsecured devices leave us vulnerable to many threats. Never leave your device unlocked or unattended.
- Set a longer PIN: If possible, change your phone PIN from four to six digits. Those two extra digits can make a big difference in how difficult it is for someone to guess your PIN. Most phone PINS can be guessed within 50 tries.
- Add biometrics: If your phone allows for biometrics (e.g. fingerprint identification, facial recognition), enable those features. Be sure to set them to your own biometrics — never add anyone else’s biometrics to your device.
Don’t automatically connect to public Wi-Fi
Public and unsecured private Wi-Fi networks provide a perfect opportunity for hackers to access your mobile device. As a result, public Wi-Fi should never be used to access sensitive information or to log in to work (or other private) systems.
Be aware of smishing attacks
Although a convenient way to communicate, text messages are vulnerable to malware, privacy breaches and other criminal activities. Smishing is a term used to describe fraudulent SMS messages that try to get you to reveal personal or financial information.
To lessen security risks,
- don’t use text messages to send personal or sensitive information;
- never open attachments from unknown or untrusted sources; and
- don’t click the links or call phone numbers in suspicious text messages — regardless of who the message claims to be from (e.g. bank, mobile service provider).
For more tips, visit the Government of Canada’s Get Cyber Safe website: https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca