Mobile Phone Security

PSMail Quicktips: The increasingly mobile nature of our day-to-day communications raises new challenges to security. Here are some tips for keeping your mobile phone secure:

1. Don’t install any free software or code onto your phone without reviewing it carefully. Lots of free software contains malicious code that can install malware on your SIM card and be used to intercept data and voice calls.

2. Don’t assume that voice calls are confidential. Voice calls are sometimes routed through a local cellular system and then through a data system. It is safe to assume that your provider can listen to your voice calls.

3. Protect your phone with PIN numbers. A PIN number should be both complex (so it cannot be easily guessed or observed) and easy to remember.

4. Don’t leave confidential information in your voice mail or in someone else’s voice mail. Most voicemail messages sit on a server that saves them in replayable format. This server can be compromised and confidential information collected.

5. Use software that encrypts voice calls and data on your phone. 

6. Don’t trust incoming text or SMS messages that ask you to take unusual actions (like sending money to a friend or relative). SMS messages can easily be made to look as if they have come from someone you know, when in fact they are nothing but a scam. Be careful! Also, don’t forward text or SMS messages to “all contacts” or to your friends. This can be another way of sending SPAM.

7. Be careful about accepting contacts from SMS/text/MMS messages. If you don’t know who sent you the contact, do not accept the contact into your phone.

8. Bluetooth devices should be turned off when not in use. Bluetooth communications can be easily captured if a nearby bluetooth device can interrupt the signal.

9. Immediately report a lost or stolen phone to your provider. They can help wipe out the SIM card settings to prevent your information from falling into the wrong hands.

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