What do I need to follow this guide?


A mobile device connected to the internet.

Why is it important to keep your smartphone / tablet secure?

Keeping your smartphone or tablet secure is important to prevent others from accessing your device and personal data without your consent, and to ensure your data is backed up in case your device is lost, stolen or faulty.

Set up a pin, password or pattern lock to protect your device

Pins, passwords and pattern locks are simple and effective ways to ensure nobody can access your device, including everything you have stored on it, without you agreeing to it. You can set up a 4-digits pin, or an actual password with letters, numbers and characters. Most newer devices also offer a pattern lock, which refers to an individual pattern or shape that is drawn on the screen to unlock the device.

To set these up open the settings feature on your device. Then go to location & security settings (most Android devices) or touch ID & passcode (most Apple devices) and follow the instructions. Make sure you use a code that is easy to remember for you, but not easy to guess for others.

Only download apps from trusted stores

Ensure you only download apps from trusted stores, such as Google Play Store (Android) or App Store (Apple), or from providers you know are secure.
Before downloading an app have a look at ratings and reviews of other users, and check the app’s privacy policy. The latter will allow you to identify which phone features the app will have access to once downloaded (e.g. your contacts, location, etc.).

Log out after making a payment online or doing online banking

When making a payment online or using an online banking app, ensure you log out of the respective site or app once you are done with your transactions. This is important to prevent others from using your bank details in case you lose your device or it gets stolen. It is also advisable to not store any usernames and passwords on your device, and to not make any bank transactions while on public Wi-Fi.

Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use

Connecting to Wi-Fi is often bene cial to save on data or for increased speed. However, cyber criminals can use these connections to access your device, and therewith sensitive personal information such as your passwords or bank account details.
Public Wi-Fi hotspots and unknown networks are much more dangerous than private

or work networks, as is it almost impossible to control who is using them. Bluetooth is generally safer to use than Wi-Fi, as its relatively short range (only around 10m) makes
it much easier to control who can access the network. However, it is advisable to switch off both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use. This will also help to increase the battery lifetime of your device.
Additionally, you should ensure that your device does not automatically connect to a Wi- Fi network when in range. You can disable this function in your device’s network security settings. Moreover, it is important to never accept a Bluetooth request to pair from an unknown device, and to set your default Bluetooth con guration to ‘non-discoverable’. This means that potential cyber criminals around you can’t see your device when searching for potential targets.

Back up your data

There are two main options for backing up the data on your device – you can save it manually on another device, such as a computer or an external hard drive, or you can link your device to a cloud based platform, to which dedicated data gets uploaded automatically. Three of the most common cloud based platforms are iCloud (for Apple devices), Google and Dropbox (for both Android and Apple devices).

If your information is backed up, you can simply download it onto a new smartphone or tablet in case your device gets lost, stolen, or damaged. The most important things you may want to back up are contacts, photos and videos, music, important les and messages.

Stay physically secured

One of the most important things to ensure is that you keep your device physically secured, in order to avoid theft or loss. Always put your device in a hard-to-access place, such as a tight front pocket or a deep pocket in a bag, and avoid advertising the fact that you have a device on you when in busy places (such as public transport or a public event). Summary
Following these simple security steps will reduce the risk of your device being stolen, and will prevent others from accessing your data without your consent. Moreover, backing up your data will ensure that you don’t lose your data, even if your device gets stolen, lost or damaged.

Popular websites and places relevant to this topic

• Dropbox - www.dropbox.com
• Google’s Play Store - https://play.google.com/store/apps • Apple’s App Store - https://www.apple.com/appstore