Stay Safe on your mobile device
Internet on your device
An increasing number of mobile devices are able to access the
internet (mobile phones, smart devices, mp3 players, tablet devices
etc) either via a web browser or a specific application.
If you use your mobile device to access sites and services that
require a username and password you should treat your mobile device
like your personal computer, and remember that login details can be
stored on your device, and if lost or stolen anyone who finds your
device potentially has access to all of your information.
You can secure your device by using the pin or pass code feature
that most mobile devices have. Choose a combination that won’t
easily be guessed by others but something that you won’t forget
either. It is also a good idea to set your device to automatically
lock if it hasn’t been used for a few minutes.
Never store login details (usernames or passwords) in your
contacts, messages or notes.
Check applications that you use to make sure they are not
automatically storing your login details without you knowing. If
you use a friend’s device to access a service, make sure that you
are fully signed out when finished.
When using your device to browse the Internet, don’t save
usernames and passwords if you don't need to, particularly for any
online banking sites or sensetive services.
If your device can download and install applications, make sure
you obtain the applications from a reputable location (i.e. a
manufacturers app store) and that you read and understand the
applications use, purpose and any possible risks associated
(i.e. how it stores data, and if it sends data etc).
Unauthorised applications may make your device operate
abnormally and can contain malicious code or even a virus.
Avoid accessing any secure or sensitive service (such as online
banking) in busy public areas; Passers by could be watching what
you are typing or see personal and/or sensitive information from
your devices screen.
If you connect your device to a public unsecured Wi-Fi network
keep in mind that there are certain risks associated with using
such a service. For example, any information that you transmit
could potentially be stolen as it passes over the airwaves, or your
device could be targeted by someone attempting to install a virus
or other malicious software.
If you are using a public Wi-Fi service, make sure that it is a
secure or subscribed service and is from a reputable source (i.e.
BT Open Zone, The Cloud etc).
Many smart mobile devices today have a GPS chip in them. This
allows you to use services such as maps and location-based
An increasing number of services and applications are utilising
the GPS capabilities of mobile devices to offer ‘check in’ location
based services. Social networks in particular allow you to show
everyone you connect with where in the world you are at any moment
If you use location-based services, think about how you are
using them and the risks associated. They are great for finding out
services and options around where you are, but also remember that
they can let other people know exactly where you are.
Think about what you share
Most smart mobile devices today have the ability to send and
receive a great deal of information, from pictures and video in
email to text and MMS messaging. It is easier than ever to share
things with friends at the touch of a button. But remember,
once you share something with someone there is no way to get it
back, and you cannot control where that video, photo or text goes
Think carefully about the things you are sharing, would you
share it with your parents or grandparents? If the answer is no
then you probably don’t want to share it with friends.
It is easy for personal information, videos and images to get
passed around electronically and prevention is most certainly
better than the cure.
It is recommended that you regularly check your device
manufacturer or service provider’s website for any software updates
for your device(s).
Software updates often address any bugs or security flaws found
in your devices software, and can also improve the stability of
your device(s) and add additional features.
Protect your personal details
Think about the personal information you store on your device.
It can hold a great deal of information about you all in one place
which can make it easy for someone to obtain passwords and other
sensitive information from the content on your device(s).
If you own a mobile device, chances are that you connect it to
your computer to transfer files, music and videos etc…
Check the settings in your device(s) sync software to ensure you
are only syncing the things you want and to prevent you from
carrying around documents and files that are not needed.
Stick with reputable sources
Always check for signs of phishing scams or fraudulent websites
when viewing the internet on your mobile device. These can be
harder to spot on mobile devices but there are a few things you can
do to check the authenticity of sites and services, including:
- Keep an eye on the URL (web address) to make sure you are not
being diverted to another site.
- If it’s a secure site or service, check to see if there is a
secure connection notification or icon (usually a small
If you use mobile internet banking via an application on your
device, make sure that you only use official applications published
by your bank, or your banks official website.
Don’t use any third party apps or tools, and ensure that you
activate the pass code/pin feature on your device to protect
against any unauthorised access.
Watch out for malicious software
When using your device, watch out for any prompts or pop-ups
asking to install or run software. If you are unsure about what the
message relates to, ignore/cancel it or ask someone for advice.
Mobile devices are generally quite secure, but malicious
software can give criminals the opportunity they need to access a
device and steal information or disable the device.
Remember - it’s not just a phone or media player
Your smart device is much more than just a phone, media player
or web browser. Its best to think of it like your wallet and keep
it safe at all times.
If you decide to sell or recycle your device, ensure that you
have formatted it first to remove all your information. Most
devices have an erase or factory reset option available that will
securely remove all of the content and restore the device to how it
was when you first bought it.