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A Dozen Ways to Protect Your Mobile Device from Hackers

Posted by Margo Leiter, CISM on Oct 26, 2020 12:00:00 AM

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As of January 2020, there were approximately 246.3 million mobile internet users in the United States, accounting for 87 percent of the population, according Statista, a provider of market and consumer data. Review 42  reports that the average user will tap, swipe, and click their phone 2,617 times a day and spend 171 minutes a day on a device.

As popularity among mobile devices continues to grow, Wauchula State Bank is providing you with a dozen ways to protect your mobile devices from hackers.

“Customers use their smartphones for everything - whether it’s to make payments, go shopping or conduct everyday banking transactions,” said Certified Information Security Manager Margo Leiter. “As usage increases and more data is transmitted, it is extremely important that consumers avoid downloading any app that requests unnecessary permissions or clicking links that may raise suspicion.”

In recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Leiter recommends the following tips to help consumers protect the data on their mobile device from cyber thieves:

  1. Lock your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
  2. Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
  3. Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
  4. Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
  5. Only install apps from trusted sources. Apps can contain malicious software, meaning it was created to cause harm! Proactively check permission settings, of each app. You may be giving access to your location, camera, photos or personal information. Delete apps you are not using.
  6. Set up the “Find My Phone” feature on your devices. This will allow your to remotely wipe data or disable the device if it is lost or stolen.
  7. Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
  8. Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
  9. Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
  10. Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially if it’s not something you aren’t expecting. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
  11. Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren't very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions or make purchases on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.
  12. Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.

Topics: Security and Fraud Prevention