Com­mon Sense Pri­vacy Con­trols for Mo­bile De­vices

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Your smart­phone, lap­top, tablet and USB keys of­ten hold a lot of sen­si­tive per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, which can lead to big prob­lems if they’re lost or stolen. Mis­place your per­sonal de­vice and you could be at risk for iden­tity theft. Lose track of a mo­bile de­vice at work and you could have an em­bar­rass­ing and po­ten­tially costly pri­vacy breach on your hands.

Don’t let it hap­pen to you by fol­low­ing these key tips to pro­tect against loss, theft and vir­tual threats.

En­able built-in pri­vacy con­trols. Au­to­matic locks, pass­words and en­cryp­tion are all easy ways to pro­tect sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion stored on your mo­bile de­vice. Check your de­vice’s set­tings.

Lock it down. Lock up hard drives and USB keys con­tain­ing sen­si­tive data. Don’t leave mo­bile de­vices unat­tended or in a ve­hi­cle. Limit the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion stored on de­vices to what’s ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary.

Use apps and pro­grams carefully. Look for

con­tent from trusted and of­fi­cial sources. Keep apps and soft­ware up to date, and delete what you no longer use. Be sure to check mo­bile app per­mis­sions be­fore grant­ing ac­cess to po­ten­tially sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion like lo­ca­tion, con­tacts, de­vice ID, cam­era and me­dia files.

Mind your Wi-fi. Turn off the auto-con­nect fea­ture on your mo­bile de­vices so they won’t con­nect au­to­mat­i­cally to open sig­nals. Avoid us­ing pub­lic WiFi for sen­si­tive transactions like on­line bank­ing.

Wipe it clean. Delete all per­sonal con­tent be­fore trans­fer­ring or dis­pos­ing of your de­vice. Re­store to its fac­tory set­tings and erase in­ter­nal stor­age, which will delete all ap­pli­ca­tions, mu­sic, movies and photos. Dis­in­te­gra­tion, in­cin­er­a­tion, pul­ver­iza­tion, shred­ding and melt­ing are other sure fire ways to de­stroy data per­ma­nently.

Find more in­for­ma­tion on­line at (NC)

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