6 Tips to keep your mobile safe, secure and happy

padlock-chain.jpgThis morning we wrote about a new security app called Lookout, which aims to keep your mobile protected against all kinds of nasties.

However, there’s only so much you can get from an app, so we asked the Lookout team how else people can keep their mobile phones and personal data as safe, secure and happy as possible.

1. Set a passcode lock.
It may seem annoying to have a passcode on your phone, particularly in the winter months when you want to send a quick text then get your hands back into your warm gloves. However, it’s one of the key security tips Lookout shared with us and although it may seem so simple, if your phone gets stolen it can buy you precious time before you find it or wipe it of all your personal data.

2. Look at permissions properly and don’t just click “allow” all of the time.
If you’re downloading a new app and it asks you if it can access your location, if it can access your contacts and if it can spy on you 24/7, you shouldn’t just click “allow” in an attempt to download it quicker. You need to actually read what it’s asking from you and make sure none of the requests sound a little too Nineteen Eighty-Four.

3. Read reviews and ratings before you download an application.
Apps that contain malware and turn out to be bad for your phone often don’t have lots of good ratings and reviews, why would they?! So before downloading anything have a quick read through what you can find and if something rings alarm bells then stay away.

4. Install the latest updates to your phone.
If you don’t often plug your phone into your computer you could be missing out on important updates. At least once a week check there are no new security or software updates, just so you know everything is as efficient and up-to-date as possible.

5. Be careful with unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Some coffee shops and public spaces offer free Wi-Fi but sometimes it can be unsecured, meaning you shouldn’t really be entering personal or financial details.

Obviously an app like Lookout can help you with some of these issues and make mobile security much easier, but the key is to be aware of potential threats and what you’re doing at all times. After all, you wouldn’t download random files to your computer from a dodgy site or hand over your credit card details to a guy in the street, so exercise that same kind of caution when you’re using your mobile phone too.

[Image via Richard Tenspeed Heaven]
Becca Caddy