The use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has become commonplace for today’s consumer. These devices may store passwords, banking information, contact information and other sensitive data. With this information at your fingertips, it is important to keep your device up-to-date with the most current versions of virus protection and system software to ensure that your personal information is protected from unintended use. Here are some ways to protect your mobile devices.
Software Updates From time to time, service providers will discover vulnerabilities that could pose a threat to the security of the information stored on or accessed from a mobile device. The issue may be with the software that runs the operating system or with specific apps that you have downloaded to your device.
When a deficiency or defect is discovered, the provider usually develops a patch or an update for the issue and sends a message or indicator to the device that an update is available. Software updates for Apple users appear as a number in the upper right corner of the Settings App. Similar notification alerts are used for Android and other providers.
We recommend that you download any updates as soon as possible after notification to ensure that your device is protected from vulnerabilities and risks. In addition, you should only perform updates from a secure Wi-Fi network. Do not use an open, unencrypted network like those found at public coffee bars, hotels and airports. Updates may take a long time to load, so make sure you have a stable internet connection and that you have enough battery life to complete the update.
Here are additional ways to protect your mobile devices and personal information:
Secure Networks and Websites Do not perform sensitive transactions through open, unencrypted Wi-Fi networks and NEVER provide your log-in and password information unless the connection and the website are secure. In addition, you can determine whether a website is secure by looking for https:// at the beginning of the web address.
Applications To access sites that require a user name and password, we recommend downloading an official app from the store to your device. The two most common provider stores are the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android. Experts recommend that consumers should not download apps from any location except the official store.
Best Practices Although it may seem like common sense, here are a few final tips to help protect your personal information using mobile devices or desktop systems. Do not store website passwords or log-in information. Be sure that you log out of the app or browser session after each use. Do not click on links through text or email if they seem suspicious or are from an unknown user. Do not connect to unknown Wi-Fi networks. Do not store sensitive information in accessible applications like notes, calendars or email. Be sure that you perform all updates, stay current with software releases and keep your firewall active.
If you suspect that your account has been compromised, call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.