Our mobile devices are our handheld gateway to limitless information these days. We visit all of the mobile websites important to our lives. Logging into places like banking websites, visiting social network pages, taking countless photos on our phones and tablets to share with friends, and giving out our physical location like its candy are all different ways we enjoy our devices and the connectedness they give us. But, stop for a moment. People out in the world are not always friendly. Thieving robbers are hiding and waiting to steal your information, there are viruses and bugs manufactured by hackers hoping to infect your computer or device and gather your critical identity information. Also, let us not forget about stalkers and other physical threats that we invite in by the information we post online. The folks over at Protect Your Bubble reported some additional informational statistics about how to protect our mobile life by stating the “Top Ten Most Dangerous Things People Do with Their Smartphones.” The points they make are interesting, but I honestly think that the points apply to virtually anything that we do with the internet or our phones. So what are some of the things that they reported as being issues in conflict to good security?
Let us go over a few of those things. Posting photos with a location stamp while on vacation is a risk. Why? Your profile has your normal location saved to the main page. If you post a geo tagged photo saying that you are in Tahiti on vacation, criminals can see that you are away from your home and will take the advantage to raid your home of your valuables. Saving your passwords to your browser or device is another big one. We all like to check our banking information but, for some reason, we save our passwords to the applications we use to check our bank and credit card information. This brings a problem to the surface where, when our devices are stolen, it leaves us extremely vulnerable to identity theft. Yet, another way we open ourselves up for criminals to steal from us is by clicking links inside suspicious emails. Emails that aren’t from the legitimate business they claim to represent are called phishing scams. Those emails tend to have some form of request for you to verify your information by clicking a link and typing your information in. Then the scammers have keyloggers or databases in place to store it for criminal use. Another big risk is connecting to the internet via WiFi from unsecured networks. We tend to do this in coffee shops, restaurants and at department stores that offer free Wifi to their customers. When on those networks, criminals can use whatever means necessary to hijack your device via the Wifi connection. That’s not a good thing when you consider just how much information we keep on our devices in the first place.
Ultimately, it is every user’s responsibility to not make these little mistakes when we use our phones, tablets, computers and such. Most of us love to use our devices to stay connected and sometimes the ease of us being able to do the things we need to do with the apps on our devices leaves us vulnerable to attack from thieves, online predators, scammers and the like. It is your decision if you wish to follow certain security steps to protect your information. Here are some measures you can take: Password-lock your phone to ensure that people who try to get into it can’t, don’t click on links or answer emails from parties claiming they are going to give you free money or they are your bank and want you to email them your information, turn off location based pictures when you’re going to be away from your home for a while, try not to use unsecured WiFi whenever possible, disable automatic sign in on apps that have your personal information inside so that criminals can’t access those if your phone is stolen. These are a few security steps, but, I’m sure you can think of more. Leave a few tips in the comment section below and be safe online. The internet is a great tool but in the wrong hands, like criminal hands, it can be devastatingly dangerous to your personal information. Be safe online and keep it locked to Android Headlines for more great tips and the latest news on Android and Google products.