With so many scary headlines about Hackers, data breaches and ID theft hitting the news cycle, you’ve probably loaded your home computer with antivirus software, installed a firewall and created strong password protection. Yet odds are you haven’t given much thought to how secure your smartphone is. Unfortunately, criminals have—and they just might take advantage of your vulnerability. Smartphone malware infections have surged 96% from 2015 to 2016, according to the Nokia Threat Intelligence Report; and 71% of phones have no security features to defend against this data-stealing software, according to a survey by Alcatel-Lucent Motive.
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“Our mobile devices are small digital assistants that carry as much—if not more—very personal information as our desktop or laptop,” says personal security expert Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity. “A lost, stolen or hacked phone provides an efficient way for a thief to steal your identity or drain your bank account.”
These warnings come just in time for Data Privacy Day. Sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance, it’s a global effort held every January 28 to build awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information. LearnVest is a supporter of Data Privacy Day and the belief that organizations, businesses and government have a responsibility to shield personal info by respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust.
In honor of Data Privacy Day, we are sharing seven smartphone security precautions to help keep your private data out of the hands of hackers.
1. Update Your Operating System
You know those annoying banners that pop up on your screen letting you know that there’s an operating system update you should download? Don’t put it off. These updates typically include fixes for security issues found in the old operating system, says Siciliano. The longer you wait, the longer you’ll be hacker bait.