Friday, November 16, 2018

TEEX Holiday Phone Safety tips

With the holidays approaching, everyone is planning to travel and shop--and sometimes the two together. It is convenient for us to shop on our mobile devices when we only have a minute or two of downtime, so let's take a few minutes and learn some tips to keep our identity safe this holiday season.

Prevent Shoulder Surfing

Shoulder surfing is when someone looks over your shoulder in order to see your passcode. You can protect yourself by activating the fingerprint scan. This feature prevents shoulder surfers from getting your information. If you do not have this feature activated, keep your phone locked. Create a strong passcode that is unique only to you. Don’t use the normal 4-6 number passcode. Choose a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Protect Your Phone from Unsecured Wi-Fi

Did you know that free Wi-Fi is not always free? Thieves use free public Wi-Fi as a source to hack into your or your family’s phone without you knowing that it is happening. Install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your phone if you have to use free Wi-Fi. This keeps your information protected. It is always best to use secure connections only.

Phones are small computers. They can be hacked, infected with viruses, and fall victim to phishing schemes. Having Anti-Virus/VPN protection is just as important on your phone and your family’s phones as they are on your home computer. Keep your phone updated.

Keep your Devices Backed Up

Don’t lose all your vacation photos and videos. Backup your data. In the event you lose your phone, you are able to update it from your backup files. Look for automatic backup options on your phone. This alleviates the responsibility of you having to remember to run a backup and ensures you have all your files saved in more than one location.

Activate the Kill Switch on your Phone 

The kill switch will delete all the data on your phone after a certain numbers of attempts to unlock it. If you have backed it up, you don’t need to worry about losing the information.

For more tips, visit Ready.gov.