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Mobile Security Beyond the Password

Posted: August 20, 2014

Smartphones have successfully taken over, putting tiny computers into the pockets of most modern folks in America. As smartphone capabilities increase and improve, so does the need for more and more security. Smartphones make life easier for us, but they can also be potentially threatening if they become lost or stolen or if they aren’t properly secured. Here are ways to help keep your phone secure beyond the typical entry password:

Fingerprint Reader

Fingerprint sensors are becoming more and more common among smartphones. The iPhone 5s comes standard with a fingerprint reader application that permits entry with a touch of a finger. You can add multiple fingers as well, which allows for many fingers, or those you permit to use your phone. Android phone users can find this among a variety of phones as well. This application is the beefiest security booster to date, eliminating the possibility that someone gets lucky with a random passcode try.

Picture Storage Apps

The photos we take with our phones aren’t always meant to be shared with everyone. Just like you might want your Facebook to be private, you may want to keep the photos private. While normal smartphone functions don’t generally offer this kind of security, you can find reliable applications, like Picture Safe or Private Photo Lock, that enable you to store photos under a securely locked application. Some of these apps even allow you to camouflage the icon!

Cloud Storage Apps

Nowadays, the cloud is used for just about everything. You may use certain cloud-based storage systems, like Dropbox, to save important documents and files from your computer. A lot of these systems also offer smartphone apps that allow you to access everything you save from your computer, and save important pictures & notes that you take with your phone onto the local folder on your home computer. A lot of these apps come with security features that help keep outside intruders away from your documents. While some connect to a folder on your home computer, others simply allow you to store and secure files locally onto your smartphone -- which is probably better than having them loosely stored around in your phone.

Turn Off Cookies and Set Up Privacy

Your browser history can show more than you might think. If you have cookies enabled, you may have username and password fields automatically filled in at certain websites -- like your bank’s website, for one! If someone steals your phone and you have cookies enabled, you might as well be handing out all of your personal information. You don’t want this information so readily available, so consider disabling cookies and turning your browser to private mode, which disables the history of keeping track of the websites you visit.

Activate GPS Tracking

Whether they’re in sleep mode or not, smartphones regularly send out signals to satellites. It’s called “pinging” and it communicates that you’re at a particular location. By enabling your phone’s GPS tracking application, you allow your phone’s location to always be found. Sounds creepy, yes, but it allows you to pinpoint exactly where your phone is in case you ever lose it or it becomes stolen. Smartphones may seem like they’re lil “security breach hubs,” but they’re really not... at least, they don’t have to be. By taking the right precautions, your smartphone is more likely to look like “Fort Knox.” Ensuring your information is secure isn’t that difficult, but it does require a bit of work on your behalf. Download the right apps, set the right settings and you should be good to go!