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8 Phone Settings Tweaks to Shield Yourself

Posted July 10, 2023

We caught up with the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre to discuss how some quick phone settings tweaks could prevent a major security breach, data loss or worse.

The average cybercrime attack costs a small to medium sized business $63,000. 

Whether work or personal, phones carry vast amounts of information including contacts, private conversations, emails, banking details, locations visited and more. 

It’s vital to have a proactive approach to protecting this information from criminals, if your device is lost or stolen, and prevent a hacking attempt. 

Safeguarding your phone access, keeping software up to date, and ensuring your device and data are recoverable are just the beginning of mobile cyber safety. 

The Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre shares eight pointers on how to prevent security breaches.

  1. SAFEGUARD PHONE ACCESSUse fingerprint, face, pin or password locking
    Switch on face or fingerprint locking – if your phone has the capability – for convenient protection. Alternatively, use a hard-to-guess pin or password. Do not use your date of birth, postcode, or other more obvious identifiers.
  1. STAY UP TO DATEUpdate your phone software
    Smartphones have updates that improve security against scammers and hackers. Make sure that you have the latest software. If your phone is too old and cannot be updated, look for a good deal on a new phone – just be sure to purchase from a reputable retailer.
  1. RECOVER YOUR DEVICE & DATAActivate ‘find your phone’ and automatic backup
    ‘Find your/my phone’ may help if you lose your device, and having a backup will ensure you retain access to your data. The backup will also help if you forget your pin or password or irreparably damage your phone. Apple, Google and Microsoft all have excellent phone backup options.
  1. BE ALERT FOR SCAMSWatch out for suspicious messages and calls
    Never respond or click inside a message demanding payment or personal information. Use a computer to search for the phone number of the company contacting you, then ring directly to verify with them the authenticity of the request.
  1. ENACT APP AWARENESSVet your apps before downloading
    Not all phone apps can be trusted. Before downloading, check the company that provides it and decide if they are reputable. Be wary of apps that require payment details. Never install an app from outside of the phone store (e.g. Apple App Store and Google Play).
  1. AVOID PUBLIC WI-FIBe careful where you connect
    Most phone plans come with a good allowance of internet capacity so avoid using free or public Wi-Fi. If you really want to use free or public networks, check for the official sign with the Wi-Fi details and do not share sensitive information, such as bank account numbers, credit cards and HR records while connected.
  1. CHARGE & CONNECT SAFELYAssess cables, devices or QR codes before use
    Avoid using public USB charging stations, connecting to unknown Bluetooth devices, or scanning QR codes. These can be used to copy your phone data, transfer malicious software onto your phone, or redirect you to an unsafe website that could compromise your security.
  1. PERFORM FACTORY RESETSDon’t give your data away unknowingly
    Have you obtained a nice new smartphone? Before you sell, gift or recycle your old one, ensure to factory reset it prior to handing the device to anybody else. Also don’t forget step three (above), and make sure you have a backup of your data before the factory reset.

Learning how to protect yourself and your business in the digital realm doesn’t need to feel overwhelming and time-consuming. The Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre provides free, simple, informative resources that help pave your way to prevention and protection.

To access resources and learn more about growing your digital resilience, visit: 

Read more stories like this on Issue_01 of Lot Fourteen’s Boundless Magazine

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