Device Safety 101
When you think of technology viruses, you usually just think of computers. That isn’t the case anymore. Your smartphone, tablet, USB drive, and other forms of technology are susceptible to viruses. By taking ten minutes out of your day every once and a while to verify that your devices are meeting these guidelines, you are heightening your level of device security.
- Back up your device. If your phone or tablet is stolen, your pictures, contacts, and music are all gone unless you’ve backed it up. This can be done via the cloud (like iCloud, for example) or using an external hard drive with mobile backup capability (like this drive). These external drives may require a free app download, but they can store all your device’s files and send notifications when it’s time to back up.
- Install antimalware. Did you know that there are proportionally more iPhones that are compromised that there are Android and Windows phones? Regardless of brand, no device is completely safe, and vendors such as Lookout make mobile device antimalware to better protect your technology.
- Update your system. This is the quickest and simplest way for your device’s developers to give you the most up-to-date protection and patch security holes. Many devices allow you to automatically make updates, which can be configured in your settings.
- Set a passcode. For most devices, setting a password or passcode automatically encrypts much of your phone or tablet’s most sensitive contents, like those silly selfies you sent your best friend.
- Use a Safe VPN. Be cautious when entering insecure or public WiFi hotspots. They could be transmitting information to you without encryption, making whatever tabs are open (email, bank accounts, etc.) easy for hackers to access.
Securing your USB Drives
- Choose one with built-in hardware encryption. These can be a little pricier, but they offer a high-level of security embedded into your drive. If you need top-of-the-line protection, this is the best option for you.
- Set up encryption for your device. If a built-in hardware encrypted drive isn’t in your price range right now, it is possible to encrypt your drive yourself. Resources like Tom’s Guide can help you do this. Once encrypted, a password will be required to access files on your drive. Your top-secret project is now safe from competition with sticky fingers.