8 common-sense tips to keep your smartphone secure

Keeping your property safe often comes down to common sense, and your smartphone is no different than your PC or home. Taking basic precautions will go a long way toward saving you time and money.

Here are eight tips to boost the security of your smartphone and what you store on it:

1. Protect your investment

Losing your smartphone can be pretty stressful. Each day, 200,000 devices are lost, stolen or damaged. You might be surprised by the high out-of-contract price of replacing a lost smartphone with an equivalent make and model.

To prevent this from happening, consider Total Mobile Protection. You’ll get a replacement device—as soon as the next day—if yours is lost, stolen, damaged, or has a mechanical or electrical defect after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

Part of Total Mobile Protection is Verizon Support & Protection, an app powered by McAfee® to help protect your device against viruses, malware and other digital threats. Other useful features include lock, locate, alarm, and the ability to wipe your device if it is lost.

2. Use a pin, password or pattern to lock your phone

Setting this up is easy. For most Android™ devices, go to your Location & Security Settings for instructions. iOS users can find these functions in the General options of their settings.

3. Download apps only from trusted stores

If you’re browsing for a new game or something more productive, use places such as Google Play™. Make sure you check ratings and reviews if they are available, and read the app’s privacy policy to see exactly what phone features it will have access to if you download.

4. Back up your data

This is more about protecting and restoring your information should disaster strike. With Backup Assistant Plus and Verizon Cloud, you can save your contacts, music, pictures, videos and documents to the cloud.

5. Keep your operating system and apps updated

There are typically periodic updates to both of these that not only add new features, but also offer tightened security.

6. Log out of sites after you make a payment

If you bank or shop from your smartphone, log out of those sites once your transactions are complete. Other tips include not storing your usernames and passwords on your phone and avoiding transactions while you are on public Wi-Fi.

7. Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® when not in use

You think of them as ways to connect to something, but thieves can use them to connect to your device and access files.

8. Avoid giving out personal information

That text message that looks to be from your bank may not be. If you get requests via email or text for account information from any business, contact the business directly to confirm the request. The same advice goes for tapping links in unsolicited emails or texts.