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8 ways to help make your mobile device more secure

8 ways to help make your mobile device more secure

Part 3 of a 3-part series about mobile banking

Among small businesses that don't use mobile banking, the most common concern holding them back is security, according to a survey reported in The Financial Brand. Whether you use mobile banking or not, you should be aware that steps you take can make your smartphone or other mobile device more secure. Follow these tips:

1. Keep your software up-to-date. Most software updates provide patches for security vulnerabilities that have been discovered. Download updates as soon as they're available, or set up your device to do so automatically. Having the most up-to-date mobile security software, web browser, operating system and apps provides defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.

2. Establish strong passwords or use fingerprint authentication to access your mobile device and its apps. Enabling fingerprint authentication will grant access to any person whose fingerprints are saved on your device. If anyone else has or might gain access to your device and its security password, consider not enabling fingerprint authentication. Various strategies exist for creating strong passwords you can remember. Some basics of strong passwords include:

  • Employ a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Make passwords at least eight characters long.
  • Avoid using personal information, such as birthdays, addresses, phone numbers and names of family members.
  • Shun common words and phrases.
  • Don't use the same password for more than one device, app or account.
  • Change passwords often.

3. Set your device to lock automatically after being idle a few minutes. This feature can prevent unauthorized people from accessing it.

4. Keep your security settings strong. The default settings on most devices are relatively secure. You shouldn't change them without good reason.

5. Be selective when downloading apps. Be sure you trust the developer and have taken time to review some of the comments about the app before downloading. Delete apps you no longer use.

6. Avoid unencrypted public wireless networks. Even public Wi-Fi networks that require a password may not be the most secure. Turn off Wi-Fi when you're not using it to prevent your device from automatically connecting.

7. Be savvy about phishing attacks. Fraudulent text messages, calls and voicemails are on the rise. And because of the small screen size and the way most people use their mobile devices, it can be even easier to fall victim to phishing on a smartphone than a PC or laptop. Mobile requests for personal data or immediate action are usually scams. If you're in doubt, don't respond or open links. Keep your guard up to avoid getting hooked.

8. Remove personal information before disposing of your device. Many devices allow you to "wipe" the device and clear nearly all the data from its memory. For detailed instructions, read your owner's manual or check the website of your mobile provider or the device manufacturer. Also, remove or erase SIM and SD cards. Even when you wipe your device, your SIM card or SD cards may retain information about you. Remove them from your device or delete the data that's stored on them before you recycle, trade in, sell or donate your device.

Ready for mobile banking?

Taking steps to improve the security of your mobile device can give you the confidence to enjoy the convenience and time-savings of mobile banking. To get started, download the CBT Business Mobile Banking app directly to your mobile device from the Apple® App Store℠, the Google Play™ Store and the Amazon® Store for the Kindle Fire™ Tablet.

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The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of California Bank & Trust, a division of ZB, N.A. or its affiliates. It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.
The CB&T Bank Blog website may contain links to third-party websites not affiliated with California Bank & Trust, a division of ZB, N.A. and may have a different privacy policy and level of security. California Bank & Trust, a division of ZB, N.A. is not responsible for, and do not endorse or guarantee, the privacy policy, security, accuracy or performance of the third-party's website or the information, products or services that are expressed or offered on that website.