There are almost 1.5 billion smartphones in use worldwide.
5% of smartphones were lost or stolen last year.
That means that 75 million phones were left vulnerable to intrusion.
Do you have credit card information on your cell? Your social security number? How about access to your work email (and, thus, your company’s network)? If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the data contained within your smartphone is worth an entire library.
Smartphones are unlike any other piece of hardware out there—not only do they give us the ability to store a massive amount of personal information, but they also allow us to access, download, and disseminate our company’s secured data very, very easily.
Not only that, but the fact that we often tap into a number of different (and possibly untrustworthy) Wi-Fi hotspots adds an extra layer of risk to the whole scenario.
So, yes, you really need to secure your smartphone. What has happened to Target, Living Social, and the Federal Reserve is only the tip of the iceberg; crimes on the individual and consumer level are practically commonplace.
Fortunately for all of us, there are several safety measures already built into your phone’s operating system, and all you have to do is make sure that you take advantage of them:
- Setting passwords. Set a passcode. If you’re going to use an online banking application (or any sensitive application of the sort), make sure it requires an additional password. If you’re using an iPhone, your on-screen passcode works double duty by automatically, well, taking care of the next bullet!
- Encrypting your data. With Android phones, you can work through your settings to set this feature that will make it far more difficult for anyone to exploit your data.
- Updating your software. Have a prompt to update your phone’s operating system or your applications? Do it! Of all the phones iScan Online tested in 2013, 53% of Android and Apple phones could have been updated to avoid intrusion.
While following these guidelines won’t guarantee that your phone will never be compromised in any way, it will certainly set you apart from the millions upon millions of grossly vulnerable devices out there.
Few crimes of opportunity are committed where there is no opportunity to take.
**For more frightening statistics, check out this infographic from Billy Austin at iScan.**