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Privacy Awareness Week 2019

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Most people never leave home without a mobile phone and why would they? Smartphones and tablets are used to connect, shop, work, bank, research, track our fitness and complete hundreds of other tasks at any time and from any location.

In many ways, it acts like a wallet and should be kept safe like one.

If your mobile device is unsecured and stolen, you could risk:

  • it being used to access money or steal your identity from information stored on your device.
  • losing irreplaceable data like photos, notes or messages (if they are not backed up)
  • your social media accounts being accessed, which could enable someone to pose as you, or steal your identity using your profile information (such as your date of birth and photo)
  • someone using your phone/tablet or its SIM card and rack up telephone charges to your account
  • having to cover the cost of a new device while still paying off the lost or stolen one.

Protect yourself by securing your device

  1. Set a password, Personal Identification Number (PIN), passcode, gesture or fingerprint that must be entered to unlock the device. Don’t forget to put PINs on your SIM card, voicemail and also ensure the device is set to automatically lock.

  2. Install reputable security software that includes antivirus and antitheft/loss protection – your device’s retailer or service provider can provide recommendations. Only install applications from the official device application store and do not “jailbreak” your device.

  3. Use your device’s automatic update feature to install new application and operating system updates as soon as they are available.

  4. Set the device to require a password before applications are installed. This will prevent unauthorised modifications to the device. Parental controls could also be used for this

  5. Leave Bluetooth turned off or in undiscoverable mode (hidden) when you are not using it.

  6. Ensure your device does not automatically connect to new networks without your confirmation.

  7. Record the International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) of your handset. Your IMEI is a 15 or 17 digit number often printed on a label under the battery or found in the Settings under General information about your device. If your device is lost or stolen, report this number to your provider and they can stop the handset from being used.

  8. Enable the remote locking and/or wiping functions, if your device supports them.

Protect your information by:

  1. Back up your data regularly, either with a backup application or by manually syncing the device with a computer.

  2. Do not save passwords or PINs as contacts on your phone or tablet.

  3. Enable device encryption to protect personal data stored on the device where possible.

  4. Check the privacy permissions carefully when installing new apps on your device and only install apps from reputable vendors. Where you can, make apps or profiles private and password protected. Learn more about protecting yourself from mobile malware.

  5. Ensure you thoroughly remove personal data from the device before selling or recycling it.


For more information, please go to: Stay Smart Online

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