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Most computer users know by now that it's important to not only keep your data and your important files safe, but it's also important to back everything up. You need to take extra measures when it comes to securing what's important to you, so it's no surprise that IT security has been expanding into the mobile world over the past several years.

Now more so than ever, more and more people are beginning to use their smartphones for everything that is important to them. From creating work documents and composing and receiving important emails and even just taking photos that you wish to save, people are using their phones and mobile devices for more important tasks than ever before.

That means that it's now equally as important to protect the data and the information on your smart phone or mobile device (like a tablet or iPad) as it is to protect your whole computer system. Don't know where to start in securing your mobile information? Here are 5 tips to get you going on the path to pure security!

Smartphone Security Tips

Top 5 Smartphone Safety Tips


Use Passwords


You know how you can set passwords to be able to log on to your computer? That's a good idea for safety reasons so that if you were to walk away from your computer, someone else couldn't log on to it and access your information.

Well, the same holds true for cell phones and tablets. Set a password to access your phone, and always remember to lock your screen so that the contents "inside" can only be accessed with your unique password.

Back Everything Up


Just like with a computer, the more frequently you can back up the data that you store on your smartphone, the better off you'll be should something ever happen to it.

Most smartphones plug directly into a computer for syncing, so just make sure that you have your computer attached to an external hard drive, and then sync your phone's data to the hard drive. Don't leave the hard drive at the office overnight - take it home with you, keep it in a safe place, and most importantly, don't lose it.

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Use A Remote Wipe App


Most recent versions of mobile OSs have apps that you can download to set your phone to wipe itself clean either after a certain amount of time or on a command from you.

With iPhones, the easiest solution is the "Find My iPhone" app, that you can download for free from the App Store. Not only does this app help you locate your phone in the case of it being lost or stolen, but it also gives you the option to command it to wipe itself clean of everything you have stored on it, so whoever finds it cannot access all of your personal information. Just make sure your data is backed up before you send the command to wipe your phone!

Don't Download Sketchy Apps


If you see an app that you like, don't just download it immediately. Take a look at how many people have reviewed the app, if any (if there aren't any, you might want to consider it a red flag), and who the developer is.

Have a general knowledge about the good app developers out there and download the apps that they make. Downloading a bad app could open a gateway to hackers who are only out to get your information off of your device. Knowing what you're downloading could save your information.

Turn Off Your Bluetooth


Believe it or not, leaving your bluetooth accessibility feature on when you aren't using it can be another gateway to hackers. Wireless networks to begin with are less secure than their hard-wired cousins, and 3G or 4G networks are even less stable.

Your bluetooth makes your device "discoverable," which means, essentially, that anyone or anything could technically find you. Hackers don't need a wired connection to reach you - your bluetooth connection could allow them the perfect wireless opportunity to do so. So save yourself the trouble and turn it off when it's not in use.

Carly Stottheimer is a freelance writer and self-proclaimed computer security nerd. She has gotten some great advice about IT security solutions at bit9.com over the years and is now venturing into learning more about protecting mobile devices.

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