The modern smartphone is an incredible device. Millions of Americans now have access to the internet, Facebook, email, and their friends and family from anywhere in the world at the touch of a screen. However, these devices offer a whole new way for thieves to gain access to your life. With new technologies hackers are able to break into phones and take information that can be used to steal your identity and even gain access to your credit cards and bank accounts.
Because of how powerful this information is, laptops and phones are now some of the most targeted items by thieves who will attempt to wither resell your device or hack into them to get at your precious data. In this post we will explain a few different ways to keep your devices safe, how to improve your electronic security, and password protect your life.
Set a password on your device
The first and most important thing you can do is to set a password to protect your device as soon as you get it. Not only will your password protect you from snooping friends and co-workers but it can also ensure that should your device be stolen, thieves will have a harder time accessing it.
Set unique passwords for every site, app, or function
One mistake that many people make today is that they choose one password they can easily remember and use it for everything. This can be a huge mistake. Consider that once a thief steals your device if you would rather him to have to break just one password or twenty. Having unique passwords can safeguard you if anyone ever is able to steal just one of your passwords.
Use strong passwords
Password. 123456. Qwertyuiop. If you recognize any of those as your own password you should change your password immediately. Thieves are smart and know that most people don’t want to take the time to come up with a difficult to remember password and so they use easy to remember codes. So of course, these are the first passwords that a thief is going to try to guess.
When thieves program their password breaking codes, they don’t just start by guessing 00001, 00002, etc… As a matter of fact the first couple of guesses are all going to be pretty specific and will usually consist of some of the most commonly used passwords.
A good password not only will be impossible to guess for a human but will stump even a computer for long enough that your device will be secure long enough for you to protect and reclaim your data. A good password should meet all of the following criteria:
- Roughly 8 to 16 characters in length
- Includes at least 1 uppercase and 1 lowercase letter
- Includes at least 1 symbol (!, #, $, @, etc.)
- Includes at least 1 number
If you need help creating a strong password, Norton offers a free online password generator.
Always require a login for your device and apps
One convenience that many sites now offer is to “stay logged in” or to “remember my password”. As convenient as these features are for users, they are even more helpful to hackers or thieves trying to steal your information. Using these functions can make it so that when your phone is stolen, anyone can easily access your most commonly used sites and take your phone on a quick Amazon shopping spree. While it is okay to set some pages you frequent to “remember your username” you should ALWAYS require a password login for any service that hosts information about your identity.
Additional security and safety tips
For more information about protecting your electronic information and your devices, as well as your home and family, check out our article on Home Security and Life Safety Tips.