By EarthLink Staff September 29, 2016
You know that keeping your devices and data protected is important, but how you keep your tablet more secure is a little different than how you keep the data on your computer safe.
While thieves and hackers pose a serious problem, there’s also the risk of simply losing or forgetting your device one day. It’s important to have a plan for any of these scenarios. These seven tips can help you keep your tablet (or phone) safer just in case.
Using a passcode on your device prevents strangers from getting into it. You’ll want to set up a password that needs to be entered when your tablet is locked. And it’s a good idea to set up an automatic lock after a short period of time of no use. Remember, just like any password, longer passcodes are tougher to guess or hack. Avoid using dates or initials that would be easy to guess. You can change the length of your passcode (from four numbers to six or to a word or phrase) in your device’s settings.
Don’t ignore operating system updates. Not only do these updates help your device run smoothly, but they also increase security. System updates are created to address security problems and patch weak points in the software. Hackers have an easier time breaking into outdated operating systems, so staying up to date makes you less likely to have an issue.
Remote tracking allows you to locate your tablet or phone if they are lost or stolen. If you left it at a friend’s house or coffee shop, you’ll be able to track it to know exactly where to find it. If it was stolen, you can also wipe the data remotely. It’s the fastest way to make sure the thieves can’t take personal information from your device.
Do you know which apps have access to your location tracking? You can find this information in Privacy Settings, and turn off location tracking for apps that don’t need to know it to function — though some really need it (like a map). You can either turn precise location off, disable the tracking completely, or choose to only allow location tracking while using the app. If location tracking is set to always on, your location and movement data can (and likely will be) sold to businesses to use as insights into consumer behavior.
If you’re out and about, it may be tempting to jump onto the public WiFi at the coffee shop or restaurant to get internet access or save your cellular data. Be very cautious about using unsecured WiFi. Take the time to make sure you are 1) connecting to a legitimate account and 2) it is secure and requires a password. If you do choose to use public WiFi, never enter sensitive data like financial information like bank information or credit card numbers while on there.
Cloud storage can be convenient, especially if you have automatic backups. (Remember when we mentioned wiping your tablet if it’s stolen? You’ll be glad you had automated backups.) But do you know how it works? Cloud service providers take steps to keep your data secure from locating servers in secure warehouses to encrypting files to security measures like firewalls and software updates.
Before downloading any app, make sure you look at the description, reviews, and ratings to make sure it’s the one you want. If you download an app, look into what personal information it has access to. Remember, you don’t have to allow the app access to your camera or location. Also, remember to periodically go through your device and delete any apps that you’re no longer using. Not only will that clear up space, but it will decrease the amount of information you’re sharing with the digital world.
Getting started with keeping your tablet more secure might seem a little overwhelming, but it’s easy to do and maintain. Remember to regularly update or clean up your device. And log out of your accounts when you’re not using the app. Sure, it’s easier and saves time to have all of your passwords stored, but it’s also easier to hack them.
The more often you do these small steps, the less time you’ll have to spend on deleting apps or updating with the latest software download.
If you’re interested in even more security or automated online backups, EarthLink has you covered.
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