Many people still try to hide passwords or PIN numbers within the body of text or phone numbers. However, despite how cleverly you may think you've concealed them, criminals know what to look for and where. It's always best to commit these security details to memory and not record them anywhere. This includes not ticking "save password" on website and applications that offer to remember your login details.
Just like with your home PC, it's critically important to have good virus protection software on your smartphone, and to keep it up to date.
The most common way smartphones are compromised is by downloading malicious software (malware) concealed in a file or application. Your Wi-Fi™ and Bluetooth™ are the entry point to your smartphone, and when activated are constantly scanning for other signals trying to connect. Criminals can exploit this functionality by sending malware to your smartphone without your knowledge, and having tethering turned on can give them access to your computer. Be safe and immediately switch off tethering, WiFi™ and Bluetooth™ when you don't need to connect to the Internet or a network.
If you connect to a shared Wi-Fi™ hotspot, you are completely dependent on the security of the host network. If the network is unsecured, criminals can hijack it, give their own network a similar name, and fool your smartphone into connecting to their network instead. From there they can spoof all kinds of websites and trick you into divulging your personal details. Take care to only connect to Wi-Fi™ hot spots you trust.
Programs that can remotely wipe data if you lose your smartphone are now available. You can use these to wipe your personal data from your smartphone if you lose it, preventing anyone from accessing it. Find a suitable remote wiping program for your smartphone, and learn how to activate it if needed.
All smartphones have built-in security features such as auto locking and password protection. While it may seem like a bit of an inconvenience at times, these physical security measures are your first line of defence in keeping your smartphone and your personal details safe.
If you crack the manufacturer's security on your smartphone, you not only make your warranty invalid but you make it much more vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals.
Criminals are interested in more than just your Internet Banking details. Any kind of personal information can be used to steal your identity, which criminals can then use to apply for credit cards, personal loans, even mortgages. By being careful about the information you have stored on your smartphone you can help protect your identity if your smartphone is lost, stolen, or hijacked.
If you sell or discard your smartphone, it's crucial you delete all personal information first. This can include SMS messages, emails, photographs, contact details and Internet links. Criminals can use such information to commit fraud against you, or apply for credit cards and loans in your name.
Criminals use infected documents and applications to spread malware and compromise their victim's smartphones. Never open an attachment or download an application from a person or website you're not sure about.