PROTECTING YOUR SMARTPHONE AND YOUR IDENTITY

By Theodore Henderson
Certified Social Media Security Professional CompTIA Powered

7K0A0606

Image courtesy of Hub Spot Marketing
It is small, it is light, it wakes you up in the morning, and it can even help you see a menu. What is it? It’s your super powered personal portable computer otherwise known as your smartphone or mobile device. It’s also a gold mine of information from your personal life, and in some cases, personal financial information also. If you use it to also to access the company systems of your employer it now contains potential access to their information also. In my eBook 30 Smart Ways to Protect Yourself from Cyber Criminals I step the average user through what I consider 30 smart ways to protect themselves from cyber crime vulnerability via their mobile device and online presence. You don’t have to use all of these tools but certainly you can use several with a minimum of inconvenience. However you absolutely must start with locking your phone.
It can be annoying to have to enter a passcode every time you turn on the phone, but one way to make this less cumbersome is to set an amount of time the phone has to wait until it requires entering a passcode again. For example, on the iPhone you can set it to require a passcode 15 minutes after the last time you entered it.
Your passcode should be an alpha numeric 8 – 16 combination with symbols. The longer it is the more secure. Your code should not be any of the following examples presented by the smartphone productivity applications firm SplashData’s “Worst Passwords of 2013″:
 

Presenting SplashData’s “Worst Passwords of 2013″:

 

RankPasswordChange from 2012
1123456Up 1
2passwordUnchanged
312345678Up 1
4qwertyDown 1
5abc123New
6123456789Up 2
7111111Up 5
81234567Up 2
9iloveyouNew
10adobe123UP 5
11123123New
12adminNew
131234567890Down 7
14letmeinNew
15photoshopNew
161234Down 11
17monkeyUnchanged
18shadowDown 5
19password1New
200123456Up 4
21password1Up 4
22princessNew
23azertyNew
24trustno1Down 12
25000000New

*SplashData is a leading provider of productivity applications for smartphones.
Despite using a password to access your smartphone, a sophisticated thief can most likely connect your device to a computer and look around to see your data. I highly recommend, as do other security professionals, using encryption to easily add an additional layer of security to your information as a partner to your password lock.
Luckily enough device manufacturers make it easy to use encryption. For example Apple’s newer iPhones have encryption capability included in both the software and the hardware, making it practically hopeless for any would be thief to obtain the data as long as the screen is locked by a passcode.

Some Android phones have a software-based encryption feature — the popular Samsung Galaxy S III, for example, has an option that requires the entering of a password to decrypt data on the device and its memory card on phone boot up.

*Additional Third Party Security Apps:

  • SecureSafe Password Manager
  • SecureMemo Free Memo Locker
  • Good Technology
  • *All referenced applications in the article are meant as a review starting point and are not personally recommendations by the author. It is up to the smartphone and mobile device owner to determine the most appropriate application for their security needs.
    For an overall view of smart straightforward ways to protect your smartphone, mobile devices, social media interactions, and your online presence see my eBook 30 Smart Ways to Protect Yourself from Cyber Criminals.

    Theodore Henderson is an Amazon best selling author, Certified Social Media Security Professional Powered by CompTIA, and a Certified Leadership Coach. He is the author of the Security eBook 30 Smart Ways to Protect Yourself from Cyber Criminals aimed at owners of Smartphones, Mobile Devices, and also those who have significant online activities including Social Media, financial services, etc. He is available for keynotes, seminars, and workshops and may be reached through www.SocialMediaSecurityTraining.com.

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