Here are eight steps you can take to reduce your risk while using a smartphone:
- Don’t allow apps, especially browsers, to store any names and passwords. Always enter them manually or use a secure password manager such as LastPass.
- Enable device storage encryption. Do not store any personal data on the phone in cleartext. Always encrypt everything of value.
- Configure a VPN, such as ProXPN, to use whenever connecting to open Wi-Fi networks.
- Set all apps to automatically logout or disconnect when not in active use or after a timeout period.
- Disable the settings in apps that might include your GPS coordinates or other location data in posts or messages, such as on Twitter and Facebook.
- Only install apps from the cultivated official app store or market. Do not use third-party markets or sideload apps.
- Do not root or jailbreak your device. It reduces your security. Doing so may give you more power or control over the device, but it gives apps more power as well.
- Enable services that will help you locate your phone if it’s lost or left behind. In case you are unable to regain possession of your phone, have the remote lock and wipe feature enabled as well.
While this is not an exhaustive list of security steps to take to reduce risk when using mobile devices, most users violate many of these guidelines. Taking these eight steps is a good place to start to increase your smartphone security.