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Get smart about your phone

Get smart about your phone's security settings

2/7/2014

Looking to boost your smartphone security efforts in the new year? If so, you're far from alone. Protecting mobile data has become an increasing concern for a great number of consumers in 2013, especially as the line grew thinner between mobile devices on the one hand and bank, credit and debit card accounts on the other. Especially at the tail end of a year that saw an unprecedented number of new malware creations for Android devices, the interrelation of smartphones and personal data needs to be carefully managed.

Float your data up to the cloud
Chances are, you've heard about cloud computing at some point in the past year. But if you believed it to be a technical term relevant only to IT professionals, think again. The cloud is one of those transformative technologies that has equal relevance for both businesses and consumers - and when it comes to protecting your smartphone data, the cloud is a safe place to be.

If you back up your data in the cloud, damage to your mobile device won't mean losing all the photos, notes and other files you've stored on your phone or tablet. Apple users should run frequent backups to iCloud. Meanwhile, Android enthusiasts enjoy convenient integration between the mobile operating system and Google Apps, the company's suite of cloud-based applications and remote storage.

Consider who's at the other end of the network
When most people think about mobile network security, they make sure not to send sensitive information over unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. That practice, of course, is essential - but TechTarget recently noted that there's another, more innovative type of networking that might put your data at risk of unwanted access.

"Windows Phone 8 and Android support Near Field Communication (NFC), which lets data transmit from one device to another at close range - about 8 inches. NFC isn't very secure, but the applications that use the technology may add their own security layer," the source wrote. 

TechTarget recommended disabling NFC when it isn't necessary or in active use.

Protect with encryption
Encrypting data is a long-standing practice in enterprise data security, but you can do it on your personal smartphone as well. Hardware encryption is built-in on the iPhone if you set a passcode, and Android users can turn encryption on in Settings.

For even greater assurance that your data will be safe, consider one of ProtectCELL's smartphone protection plans, which ensure the security of your locally stored files in addition to the value of your device, as they offer phone buyback options.

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