- About securing your device.
If you're a smartphone or tablet user chances are there's a lot of personal information stored on your device. Emails, passwords, photos and financial data can be accessible with a swipe of a finger. Instant access to your information is convenient, but having it on your mobile device can leave you vulnerable if your device is lost or stolen.
The following steps can help secure your device, keeping personal information safe, even if your device falls into the wrong hands.
- Secure your screen with a strong password.
Your device may have a variety of options to secure the screen, which can include a 4-digit PIN, a finger swipe pattern and even facial recognition. While each method varies in level of security, one of the best methods to secure your screen is by using a strong password. The features of a strong password are:
- At least 8 random characters
- A variety of character types including letters, numbers and symbols
On Apple® devices, look for password settings on the Settings screen under passcode.
For instructions on setting screen security on other devices, visit your device's Interactive Simulator, and look under the First Time Use section.
- Turn on your device's auto-lock feature.
Setting your device screen to automatically lock after a period of inactivity can protect it from unwelcome access. Using auto-lock in conjunction with a password ensures others cannot easily access your device, even when left unattended.
For more information on auto-lock settings, check your device's user manual.
- Install a trusted security app.
Security apps, like Verizon Support and Protection, help protect your device and your sensitive information from viruses, malware and theft. Many apps will warn you if you try to access malicious websites, and can remotely locate, lock, and even reset and delete the contents of your device.
- Be cautious when installing apps.
Only install apps from trusted sources, like Google Play™ or Apple ® App StoreSM. Avoid installing unofficial versions of popular apps and apps from unknown developers. Read app reviews and check app permissions, making sure the permissions granted are necessary for the app to function.
- Install operating system (OS) updates when available.
OS updates often contain new security features and important patches. Be sure to install OS updates when prompted.
For more information on available updates for your device, check our Advanced Devices - Software Updates page.
- Avoid using unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks.
Public Wi-Fi networks generally don't include security, leaving the data on your phone unprotected. When conducting mobile banking transactions or making online purchases, either switch to mobile data or wait until you can connect to a trusted, secure Wi-Fi network.
Always log out of financial or shopping sites after you view sensitive data or make a payment, and don't store passwords on your device.
- Turn off Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi when not in use.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi allow you to connect to other devices and networks, but they can also leave your device open to unwanted connections. Be sure to only connect to trusted devices and secured networks, and settings off when you aren't using them.
For instructions on turning on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, visit your device's Interactive Simulator.
- Beware of suspicious emails, text messages, and links.
Your mobile device has similar vulnerabilities to a computer when it comes to suspicious communications and phishing. Don't open, tap on or reply to anything that looks suspicious. Beware of messages that look as if they're coming from a legitimate entity or person but have a generic greeting, ask you to verify personal or account information and include a false sense of urgency.
If you receive an email that seems fraudulent, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for our internal review.
If you receive a suspicious text message, you can forward it to 7726 (Verizon Corporate Security) from your device and then delete it.
Learn more about phishing.
- Turn off location tracking services.
Location tracking services are typically used by apps to deliver personalized, location-based information, including driving directions, traffic updates, and local weather. While these services are often useful, leaving location tracking on may allow others to know where you are and your location history.
For instructions on turning off location tracking, visit your device's user manual.
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