Keep your mobile devices secure

In today’s digital world, our hand-held devices have become powerful tools in how we communicate and manage our everyday lives. Because these devices have the potential to gather a lot of your personal and financial information, there are risks if your device is lost or stolen. To help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft or some other crime, here are some tips to ensure your mobile devices are secure:

Use (multiple) passcodes

Just because you always have your phone by your side, doesn’t mean it can’t be misplaced or stolen. Once lost, anyone can recover your private information, e-mail, text messages, contact lists and your personal photos and videos, especially if your phone is not locked. Your first line of defense is to create a hard-to-guess password to prevent easy access to your data. If offered, opt in for two- or multi-factor authentication to add extra layers of security to your accounts. If you have a hard time keeping up with passwords, many devices and apps have enabled Touch ID, which uses a fingerprint sensor instead of a passcode to verify your log-in.

Update your device

For many of us, we’ve fallen into the habit of constantly tapping “Remind Me Later” when our device’s software update notification pops up. Unfortunately, ignoring software updates can be harmful to your device. Cybercriminals are always searching and using new vulnerabilities in mobile devices. Just as you would do with your computer, updating your software is among the most important things you can do to keep your device secure. Be sure your smartphone or tablet is running the latest operating system or latest update available.

Use Mobile Apps wisely

Only install the apps that you absolutely need. The more you install, the more you expose your information to suspicious activity. Download only well-known apps from trusted sources. New or unknown apps may be developed by cybercriminals who are intent on infecting your device. Also, ensure the default setting of all of your apps denies access to your location, camera/microphone and personal data. You can grant this access on a case-by-case basis, depending on your needs.

Dispose of your device properly

Technology is advancing at an amazing pace. As you update your technology, be sure you detect all of your information on your old device before you sell, dispose or gift it. Smartphones usually have a function that lets you delete all of the personal data on it but keeps the current settings. Or, you can restore the device to factory settings, essentially erasing everything on it as if it were new.

Have you downloaded the Travis Credit Union mobile banking app? It allows you to easily access your accounts anywhere, anytime. The app is available for free download on Google Play and iTunes.