1. Lock your phone
Use your phone's locking function to lock your screen after five minutes or less of inactivity. It's a simple way to prevent thieves from accessing your information if you leave your phone unattended, even for just a few minutes.
2. Use a "find your phone" app
Enable or install an app that allows you to remotely find your phone as soon as you think it may be lost. If you believe that your phone is gone for good, many of these apps allow you to send remote commands to erase your phone's data to protect your privacy.
3. Know where you are downloading from
Malicious apps can steal your data directly from your phone. So only download apps that come from a reputable source and avoid third-party providers. For instance, a banking app should come from the bank itself or from an official app store. It's important to note that with the Bank of America Mobile Bankingfootnote1 app, your account info is not stored on your phone; instead, your personal information is securely stored with the app.
4. Be cautious about Wi-Fi connections
When possible, use a known and secure Wi-Fi connection. Disable settings that automatically detect and connect your phone to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This helps prevent your phone from transmitting information without your knowledge.
5. Don’t "jailbreak" your phone
It may be tempting to jailbreak your phone — that is, to remove operating system restrictions in order to access certain apps. But it's not worth the risk. Jailbreaking or "rooting" will strip away your phone's built-in security systems, leaving your private information vulnerable.
6. Don't make your personal info easy to find
Avoid storing personal data like credit card information, Social Security numbers, passwords or other sensitive information directly on your phone. The convenience of storing this information in your notes app may be tempting, but, as this Better Money Habits article shows, it’s an easy target if your phone falls into the wrong hands.
People are relying on their smartphones more every day. As the number of mobile transactions continues to rise, the need for safety and smartphone security are more important than ever. While these tips can’t protect you from everything, they can give you peace of mind that you are doing as much as you can to help keep your smartphone secure.