Getting Smarter About Protecting Your Smart Devices


Summer 2014 — Security News and Advice

Mobile devices have become an integral part of our lives. We take pictures, shop, bank, and store our most personal information on them, so how do we make sure that our devices stays safe?

After all, there are a lot of ways that we can lose control of our mobile information. For instance, did you know that around 80%1 of Android apps collect personal information, such as our contact details? And, according to a recent survey2, 60% of people give mobile apps access to their location, potentially allowing someone with bad intentions to track them.

Of course, our contacts and location represent just a small portion of the information on our mobile devices. Many of us store business and personal emails, as well as logins for our banking apps and social media accounts.

Despite this, 27% of people still don't protect their devices by using a simple PIN or passcode to keep strangers out. And, the people who do use PINs or passwords often share them with others. In fact, the survey revealed that 48% of password users have shared their codes with their significant other.

So, while we value our privacy, many of us are not doing as much as we could to protect the huge amount of mobile information that we are storing and creating. If this information gets into the wrong hands, your accounts could be compromised, and your money and identity information can potentially be stolen.

Fortunately, by taking just a few simple steps, you can improve your mobile security and make sure that your private information stays private. Follow these important tips:

  • Put a PIN on it—Whether you are using a smartphone or tablet, make sure that you protect it with a four-digit PIN or passcode to keep others from accessing your information.
  • Do a background check on your apps—Before downloading a mobile app make sure that you check other users’ reviews first to see if it is safe. Also, read the app’s privacy policy to find out if it will access more of your personal information than it really needs.
  • Get friendly with your delete button—Avoid storing personal and identity information on your device. Delete any content that you would not want to be seen by a stranger, or someone with bad intentions.
  • Try not to overshare—Be careful when posting on social networks and using photo sharing apps. Many of these popular activities record your exact location, and can give away information that can be used by identity thieves.
  • Get mobile security—Protect your devices and information with McAfee Mobile Security, which offers anti-virus scanning, App Alert, and the ability to locate your device if it is lost or stolen. Get it for free, here.

1 McAfee Mobile Security Report, Feb. 2014

2 The Futures Company, MSI & Intel Security, Dec. 2013 – Jan. 2014

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