Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tips for protecting yourself, your information, and your identity in the mobile age

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  1. Set up and turn on the PIN option on your SIM card. It's a measure of defense to ensure your phone bill doesn't rack up charges if it's stolen and later turned off, or someone uses it in another phone, and it will buy you time to call your network and have the SIM deactivated;

  2. Set up the security code of your phone. Yes, with the right tools it could be defeated, but why make it easy for thieves to use or sell your phone?

  3. Look around before using your phone or tablet in public places. Some places are safer than others;

  4. Set up the PIN or pattern lock of your phone or tablet. If you use your phone for Facebook, Twitter, email, etc., your account information is stored on your phone. Anyone who comes into possession of your phone and unlocks it can potentially masquerade online as you. They can also have access to your photos, messages, email, etc.;

  5. Don't leave your phone or tablet unattended. You could be a victim of casual theft;

  6. If your phone or tablet uses Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and up, you have the option of encrypting your entire device. Consider full encryption if your device stores valuable information;

  7. Secure your PC or notebook with a password, and lock it whenever you leave it unattended to discourage potential snoops;

  8. If practicable, secure your notebook if unattended with a Kensington-type lock. It's a deterrent against casual theft;

  9. When setting up a wireless network or a portable hotspot, secure it using WPA2 or WPA. Don't use WEP. WEP can easily be cracked with downloadable tools;

  10. When looking for a wifi hotspot, be wary of free, unsecured hotspots. These could be baited hotspots which could potentially steal information from your notebook or mobile device;

  11. Whether you use a PC, tablet or mobile phone, install an antivirus/antimalware program and keep it updated. There are lots of good free antivirus/antimalware programs on the web so, you don't have to spend to protect your devices. Some malware can potentially steal your personal information;

  12. Don't open email attachments from people you don't know;

  13. Don't open email attachments even from people you know if the email doesn't seem like one the person you know will send;

  14. If you receive an SMS telling you you won something, it's a scam;

  15. If you receive an SMS from someone pretending to be a relative abroad and the number used is his/her new roaming number, it's a scam;

  16. If you receive an email telling you you won something, it's a scam;

  17. If you receive an email telling you inherited something, it's a scam;

  18. Pretty much consider any email you receive from someone you don't know a scam, especially if it seems to good to be true;

  19. When entering login information to any site, check the address bar to make sure that site is really the site you're logging in. Otherwise you could be a victim of "phising";

  20. When using a public computer (such as in an internet cafe) or a shared office computer, never forget to log off from any social networking site, email account, etc. you've logged on. The next person using the computer could tamper with your account.


I'll add to this list when I think of more tips.

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