Protecting your mobile on the move

5 Tips to Protect your Mobile Phone When Out and About

Your smartphone is probably not only expensive, but it’s more valuable than you might think. 

The data it holds can give cyber attackers access to your email and social media accounts, allow them to drain your bank accounts, make it easy for them to scam your friends, or find a gateway into your employer’s network.  

So, please follow our advice to protect your phone and lock down your personal data when you’re out and about. 

1. Set up biometric access

Not only is it much more convenient to log into apps or unlock your phone, using your face ID or fingerprint instead of a passcode is much more secure. Someone looking over your shoulder and sees you type in your code knows that if they can steal your phone, they can get access to photos, videos, contact details, and any apps that aren’t locked. 

2. Always keep your mobile close

Popping it down on the table in a bar or in the facilities is risky with so many people around. It just takes a small distraction and a moment for someone to swipe your phone. Once in their possession, they can read any messages or one time passcodes that come in on your notification screen, the names of your friends which can aid in social engineering scams… and that’s even if you’ve locked your device! Plus there’s the distress of actually losing and having to replace your phone.   

3. Stay on the mobile network where possible

Public WiFi can be easily spoofed, tricking your phone into thinking it’s a network it’s seen before, when actually it could be a network set up by attackers that is intercepting all traffic to and from your device. This means your passwords, emails, logins – anything you do on your phone while it’s connected to a rogue network can be relayed to a cyberattacker. If you need to jump on to a public WiFi network, make sure you’ve got a mobile security app on your device that checks the security status of the network. We recommend the free Traced app for iOS and Android

4. Beware of downloading malware or falling for scams

When you’re out with friends, conversation often turns to talk of new apps, interesting websites, or fun things you’ve seen on social media. But sometimes these apps or websites can install viruses or spyware on your device, or that QR code you’re scanning might open a website that requests information that it then relays to an attacker. The Traced app is a privacy-first security app that detects spyware and viruses in apps on Android, so any new app you download you know is safe. On both iOS and Android it also scans the links in emails, messages, social media, QR codes before loading the page, so you’re protected against phishing scams. 

5. Turn off Bluetooth except for when you need it

Bluetooth technology is another marvel of the modern mobile phone. But attackers can use specialised software and hardware to hijack the Bluetooth connection of people’s devices to install malware on the device, decrypt passwords and other sensitive information, and can also send texts, make calls, and transfer files and photos from the device. So the best thing to do is to turn off Bluetooth or set it to invisible mode when not in use. 

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