A 2013 report indicated that 38 percent of smartphone users have been victims of cybercrime. This rate is expected to grow with mobile threats on the rise. To help fight this cybersecurity risk, the Department of Homeland Security developed the Stop.Think.Connect program. The following mobile tips are from their Mobile Security Tip Card.
Mobile devices enable Americans to get online wherever they are. Although mobile devices, from smart watches to phones and tablets, can be extremely useful and convenient, there are also potential threats users may face with such technology. It's important to understand how to protect yourself when connecting on the go.
Did You Know?
- Of American adults, 56 percent own a smartphone.
- More than half of mobile application users have uninstalled or decided not to install an app due to concerns about their personal information.
- Use strong passwords. Change any default passwords on your mobile device to ones that would be difficult for someone to guess. Use different passwords for different programs and devices. Do not choose options that allow your device to remember your passwords.
- Keep software up to date. Install updates for apps and your device's operating system as soon as they are available. Keeping the software on your mobile device up to date will prevent attackers from being able to take advantage of known vulnerabilities.
- Disable remote connectivity. Some mobile devices are equipped with wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, that can connect to other devices. Disable these features when they are not in use.
- Be careful what you post and when. Wait to post pictures from trips and events so that people do not know where to find you. Posting where you are also reminds others that your house is empty.
- Guard your mobile device. In order to prevent theft and unauthorized access, never leave your mobile device unattended in a public place and lock your device when it is not in use.
- Know your apps. Be sure to review and understand the details of an app before downloading and installing it. Be aware that apps may request access to your location and personal information. Delete any apps that you do not use regularly to increase your security.
- Know the available resources. Use the Federal Communications commission's Smartphone Security Checker at www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security.
Resources for Victims of Online Crime
- Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov
- Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint