Phones have come a long way in the last few years, and there’s a ton of sensitive information—email access, bank accounts, photos, contact lists—that are easily accessed if your phone falls into the wrong hands. Here are a few tips for keeping your smartphone secure.
1. Use a passcode! This is one of the easiest steps toward securing your phone, but research shows that 54 percent of smartphone users do not use a passcode. Whether it’s a four-character PIN or a pattern lock, set up the passcode on your phone so that only you can get past your lock screen.
2. Be careful with WiFi: Smartphones can be set to automatically connect to available WiFi networks, but this can lead to your phone being vulnerable over an untrusted network when you’re not aware of it. Turn off WiFi when you’re not knowingly using it—it’ll also help with battery life.
3. Careful with Bluetooth, too: Bluetooth isn’t as vulnerable to security breaches as WiFi, but it’s still a good idea to have your Bluetooth set to undiscoverable.
4. Consider the downside of rooting: Many cell phone users will root or “Jailbreak” their phones to open up new features, but this can override your phone’s security settings—and void your warranty.
5. Choose better passwords: Definitely don’t use “password” or your name! Instead, make a passphrase—a short sequence of words that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for anyone else to guess.