14 Tips for Mobile Security

downloadIn light of the recent Starbucks Hack I wanted to do a little research on app security.

75% of mobile applications will fail basic security tests through 2015, according to Gartner. Apparently this includes big name apps like Starbucks, however Starbucks denies fault blaming weak user passwords.

Here are 14 general tips to keep your phone secure.

  1. Don’t leave your phone unattended in a public place
  2. Lock your phone when you’re not using it and change your password regularly
  3. Change default passwords to something more complex
  4. Avoid using unprotected Bluetooth networks and turn off your Bluetooth service when you are not using it
  5. Activate your phone’s tracker capability. If your phone is stolen or lost, use the tracker app to lock it remotely.
  6. Only install apps on your phone if they come from a trusted source. Most official app stores verify the authenticity of their products, so they’re much safer. Before downloading any app, read the description and reviews to understand what you’re getting.
  7. Check app’s permissions before installing them. If an app requests access to your personal information, don’t install it or deny the request.
  8. Avoid accessing important locations such as bank accounts via public Wi-Fi that may not be secure.
  9. Turn off your auto complete feature so critical personal data isn’t stored on the phone and must be re-entered every time you need it.
  10. Regularly delete your browsing history, cookies and cache so your virtual footprint is not available for prying eyes.
  11. Use a security app that increases protection.
  12. Delete text messages from unknown senders that ask for your information, and avoid clicking links in messages. Some hackers send messages that appear to be from your bank or another trusted source. If you click the link in the message, the hacker can steal your information or install malware on the phone. Don’t download apps via text message; this is a common way for hackers to infect your device.
  13. Access the Internet on your phone only from a secure Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi networks that aren’t secure allow nearby hackers to intercept your data when you get online. Don’t do any shopping or banking on a public Wi-Fi network; hackers can swipe your bank account number or other financial information. If you have access to a cellular network, use it instead of public Wi-Fi.
  14. Your smartphone may have been hacked if you notice apps opening by themselves or if the battery drains much faster than normal. Unusual charges on your wireless bill also indicate a problem.

Are you worried about your mobile security? What do you use to protect yourself? Do you think Starbucks should be taking responsibility for the hack?