5 ways to be safer using mobile devices

October 7, 2013

Most of us take the convenience and productivity of the Internet everywhere we go now. We use portable devices to bank through Member Connect, shop at our favorite retailers and manage our daily lives from anywhere. We work untethered from a physical location and stay connected as we travel.

Use this tips to stay safe while using mobile devices (smartphones and tablets):

1. Keep a clean machine

Mobile devices are computers with software that need to be kept up‐to‐date just like your desktop computer or laptop. Security protections are built in and updated on a regular basis. Take time to make sure all the mobile devices you use have the latest protections. This may require syncing your device with a computer.

  • Keep security software current; Having the latest mobile security software, Web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • All devices that connect to the Internet including computers, smartphones, gaming systems and other Web-enabled devices need protection from viruses and malware.

2. Protect your personal information

Phones and tablets can contain tremendous amounts of personal information. Lost or stolen devices can be used to gather information about you and, potentially, others. Protect your phone like you would your computer.

  • Secure your phone. Use a strong passcode to lock your phone.
  • Think before you app. Review the privacy policy and understand what data (location, access to your social networks) on your device an app can access before you download it.
  • Only give your mobile number out to people you know and trust.
  • Learn how to disable the geotagging feature on your phone at icanstalku.com/how.php

3. Connect with care

Use common sense when you connect. If you're online through an unsecured or unprotected network, be cautious about the sites you visit and the information you release.

  • Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots. Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your phone.
  • Protect your money. When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for Web addresses with "https://" or "shttp://", which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. "Http://" is not secure.
  • When in doubt, don't respond. Fraudulent texting, calling and voicemails are on the rise. Just like email, requests for personal information or to take immediate action are almost always a scam.

4. Be Web wise

Stay informed of the latest updates on your device. Know what to do if something goes wrong.

  • Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to be Web wise.
  • Know how to block others. Using caller ID, you can block all incoming calls or block individual names and numbers.
  • Use caution when meeting face‐to‐face with someone who you only "know" through text messaging. Even though texting is often the next step after online chatting, that does not mean it's safer.

5. Be a good online citizen

It’s easy to say things via phone or text you would never say face to face. Remind your kids to maintain the same level of courtesy on the phone or Web as they would in the real world.

  • Safer for me, more secure for all. What you do online has the potential to affect everyone—at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.
  • Text to others only as you would have them text to you.
  • Never give out anyone else's number without permission.
  • Get permission before taking pictures or videos of others with your phone. Likewise, let others know they need your permission before taking pictures or videos of you.

Remember, safer for me, more secure for all. It’s our shared responsibility to do our part to make Internet usage safer. What you do online has the potential to affect everyone—at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.

For more tips, visit Stay Safe Online.

LGFCU is a proud champion of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

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