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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TECH ALERT: Secure your mobile!


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Ankit Fadia, DC / August 29, 2011.

Secure your mobile

With the advent of smartphones, there is a very thin line that separates mobile phones from traditional computers.
Nowadays, we use our mobile phones for a variety of entertainment and work — related purposes. Everything from taking pictures, listening to music, chatting with friends, social networking, emails, surfing websites, gaming, e-commerce and even banking is nowadays being done on smartphones.
It has become very common for users to download files and install apps on their phones from the Internet or from other mobile phones. Smartphones have indeed become smaller versions of laptops!
But, at the same time, they have also become vulnerable to attacks. So it’s important to take precautions and protect phones against various security threats.
Gone are the days when viruses and trojans could only infect your computer. In the last few years, there have been hundreds of incidents of mobile phones getting infected with such malware. So, just the way most people have antivirus softwares on their computers, it’s important to install an antivirus software on your cellphone as well.
Some of the popular antivirus solutions for your mobile phone includes McAfee, Kaspersky and AVG. However, my personal favourite antivirus for mobile phones is a tool called Lookout, which works on most popular smartphone platforms like Android, iPhone, Blackberry and others.
It is also advisable for mobile phone users to disable Bluetooth on their mobile phone whenever they are not using it. A lot of viruses, worms and Trojans spread through the mobile phone universe through Bluetooth.
But even if you have a good antivirus already installed on your phone and you have your Bluetooth switched off, you must be careful about where they download data, apps and files from. Do not download things from untrusted and potentially infected sources.
If you have any sensitive applications and data on your mobile phone, it is important to password protect them using this very cool application called App Lock. This ensures that if somebody steals or hacks into your mobile phone, they will be asked to enter a password before they can access any sensitive data on your phone.
Think of this as a secondary layer of protection against criminals! You can also encrypt any sensitive data you may have on your cellphone using tools like Truecrypt and BitLocker.
Finally, you should also enable the power “on” password on your mobile phone, since that protects you against the prying eyes of a snooping friend who might have got his/her hands on your phone when you are not looking.
Although there is nothing like 100 per cent security on your mobile phone, implementing these basic security tips and tricks will definitely help you be more secure!
Steps to secure your phone
* Install anti-virus apps like Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky or AVG


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