The thought of losing your phone can be a nightmare. Our phones hold information about us that our best friends probably don’t even know. So you should always have some protective measures in place for your phone and the information on it—especially when you travel. Check out our tips below!
Note: All tips listed here for mobile phones can also be used to keep your tablets safe.
Create bulletproof passwords
There’s a good reason most sites ask you to create a password that has a mix of upper case, lower case, numbers, hieroglyphics, and blood from your first born. The combination of these factors creates a secure password that makes it very difficult for a hacker to get past.
Tips for secure passwords
- Your fingerprint is a convenient method to protect your phone against basic street theft or if you lose it somewhere. However, it may not stand a chance against someone with a CSI kit and free time on their hands. If you’re worried about your fingerprint being lifted, stick with creating a password that only you know.
- If you don’t have the option to scan your finger, create longer passwords. For Apple users, iOS 9 allows for six-digit passcodes instead of four. This means that there are many more password options and this makes it harder to hack—especially on an Apple device that locks you out after inputting the incorrect password five times. iPhone users can also enable a setting that erases the phone’s data after ten incorrect password attempts.
- Security experts recommend alphanumeric passwords over digits and patterns, because they are even harder to crack. However, don’t create passwords that can easily be linked to you, for example your name, family, favorite sports team, etc. Anyone can find that information now by lurking you online. Try a phrase that can be easily remembered while swapping out the Os for 0s, and a’s for @s. For example: j0nnywent2thest0re@tn00n
- Pro Tip: turn down the brightness on your phone screen if you’re worried people can see you inputting your password.
- Use a 2-factor authentication app like Authy (available for both Apple and Android). It requires 2 passwords when opening apps like your bank, email, messages, etc. The first password you create, and the second is randomly generated every 20 seconds for you.
Avoid free Wi-Fi like the plague
It’s in our nature to gravitate towards things that say FREE. But free Wi-Fi shouldn’t be one of them. They are unsecured networks where cybercriminals hang out waiting to access all of your information within seconds of connecting.
Pro tip: KnowRoaming will keep you safely connected.
Don’t scan random QR codes
Do people even still use those? If you do see one, proceed with caution. It could end up downloading malware onto your device and this could steal your personal information.
Enable tracking on your device
iPhone users should enable Find My iPhone. Just don’t forget your iCloud password. Apple’s security is so good you might never be able to get into your own phone. Android users have similar tracking capabilities using the Android Device Manager.
Pro Tip: To track your phone, Location Services needs to be enabled. This service uses data. To avoid costly roaming charges, use our Global SIM Sticker.
Keep all apps and software up to date
Updates have improved security and fixed bugs to keep hackers out. For Apple users, make sure your software has at least iOS 8 or above. Apple has introduced new security features in this update, which prevents anyone without the device’s password from accessing the encrypted data.
Do not jailbreak your phone
Jailbreaking refers to removing the standard operating system restrictions on iOS devices, allowing you to download non-standard or unofficial software. However, this leaves your phone vulnerable to viruses, malware, and hackers to access your information.
These tips may take a few minutes to set up but it’s worth the extra effort to keep all of your information and identity secure. Even if you’re not traveling anytime soon, it’s good practice to have secure habits.
If you have any additional tips on how you keep your devices safe, comment to let us know!