Keeping your Mobile Devices Secure

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January 21, 2014

Most people know the dangers of malicious computer software and viruses. Fortunately, good anti-virus and internet security software usually keeps your computer safe. While smartphones and tablets are generally more secure than computers, there is still some important information to remember to keep your device secure and working properly.

The biggest security advantage for smartphones and tablets is, unless you purposely change deep settings, they will only install apps from their devoted on-line market. For Apple’s iOS devices, iPhone and iPad, that is the App Store. For Android phones and tablets, it’s the Google Play store. Apps available through these services have been screened for malicious code and are rated by users. Sticking to the popular and well-rated apps is not only a good way to stay secure, it also helps you get the most effective and useful apps.

You should also be aware of the dangers of in-app purchasing. While this can be a useful feature, if you’re not aware, it can be all too easy to rack up large bills – particularly within a compelling game. If you’re handing your phone to a child so he can play a game, he may not realize those extra lives and bonus items cost real money. Fortunately, you can require an account password for in-app purchases or turn off the option entirely.

There is one place where smartphones are far less secure than computers – their small size and portability make them more easily lost or stolen. With an Apple device, be sure to set up the Find My iPhone feature. If it is lost or stolen, you can use the Find My iPhone app on a computer or another iPhone or iPad to track down your device and, if necessary, wipe all the data from it. On Android devices, the Android Device Manager is available through Google’s website and offers the same protections.