You have got yourself a phone from Surplus.net, now you want to make sure that you protect it and yourself from cybercriminals.
Use a Passcode to Lock your Device
Without implementing this initial layer of security, anybody who picks your phone up can access the data and apps on your phone. Set a passcode that no one knows but you, and then just tap on it before using your phone. A “touch ID” can also be set up on devices that allow for it to open your phone that responds to your fingerprint. Or you can set up a “face ID’ where your phone is unlocked when you are recognized by the phone’s front-facing camera.
Avoid Clicking on Any Suspicious Links
You should carefully examine any links that you get in emails. If you do not know who the sender is, do not click on any links. If you know who the sender is, be sure they sent it to you before clicking on it. Phone message, text, and email accounts that pretend to be an entity or individual that you know is a very common trick that cybercriminals use. It is called phishing. Be sure to not take their bait.
Immediately Update your Software
Whenever a new update is released for your phone, download it right away and install it. Often these updates include vulnerability patches, security fixes, and other maintenance that is necessary.
Use Unique Passwords on All of Your Online Accounts
Avoid reusing passwords. Once a cybercriminal gets a hold of a user’s password, they will try using the password on all of the user’s accounts. Do not give this type of skeleton key to the criminal. Using a password manager is the best practice for creating unique passwords that are difficult to crack. Using a password manager gives you the advantage of it remembering your passwords. You can also use a passphrase or memorable sentence that is easy for you to remember. Write them down if you need to, but do not store them on your computer.
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On open Wi-Fi, Networks Use a VPN
It is difficult to not use open Wi-Fi – you are out and about, you are busy, and you have some online transactions that you need to do. This common scenario could happen: you are in a coffee shop and connect your phone with their unprotected Wi-Fi network. You use your mobile phone to perform a banking transaction or make a purchase. All of us have done that. If you have to use open Wi-Fi in this type of situation, use a VPN app on your mobile device. That makes you anonymous while you are online. That allows you to use Wi-Fi while hidden safely away from cybercriminals that are lurking.
Only Download Apps From App Stores that are Reputable
Only use official app stores. If you own an iPad or iPhone use the Apple App Store, or if you own an Android device, you the Google Play Store. It is very common for fake malicious apps to be created by malware developers and place on third-party shady sites hoping that somebody will be naive and download them. There is a much stricter vetting process used by official app stores.
Backup the Data on your Phone to the Cloud
Backing up your phone on a regular basis can save you a lot of hassle. That way, if your phone is ever stolen or lost, you will still have all of your accounts, data, and apps up to date on the backup.