Boo! It’s Halloween and also the end of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Our phones are so spookily important to us that 80% of you who responded to our Facebook poll said you’d go without either coffee, TV or chocolate rather than give up your smartphone for a month. To keep our most precious mobile devices safe, we’ve had a full month of spreading awareness of simple steps to secure your phone and the sensitive data you put on it.
National Cyber Security Month by the numbers:
- 1: New Android OS version announced, Ice CreamSandwich. We can’t wait to use its enhanced security features.
- 2: Lookout extended security protection to additional platforms and devices. We launched our iPhone app and announced our support for Android tablets and iPads, including WiFi-only tablets.
- 2: New threats we highlighted this month, targeting utility apps and Netflix accounts. (Plus one Twitter phishing scam that tried to haunt us.)
- 20: Free upgrades to Lookout Premium for Android we gave away via Facebook and Twitter.
- 40: Comments on our WiFi security post from users telling us what they’ve learned about mobile security this month.
- 800: Likes & retweets for our NCSAM messages on Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s a recap of our tips to secure your smartphone. Don’t be spooked of the bogeymen of stolen data or hacked phones when you take a few simple precautions.
- Set a passcode for your phone. We love this xkcd comic about setting a strong password.
- Use discretion when downloading apps, especially when downloading from 3rd party markets. Always check the permissions the app is asking for and the developer’s name, ratings and reviews.
- Refrain from using unsecured Wifi; it’s like sending your sensitive data over the air in a clear envelope so anyone could see the contents. If you are really dying of boredom at the airport, just window shop, avoid email, online shopping and social networks.
- Keep your phone’s software up to date. Operating system updates often include patches to known security vulnerabilities.
- Download a mobile security app like Lookout, available for Android or iPhone mobile security.
Just because National Cyber Security Awareness Month is ending doesn’t mean you can revert to bad habits like downloading shady apps or leaving your phone lying around without a passcode. Our smartphones and tablets are mini computers we rely on everyday. Spreading awareness for safe smartphone usage is an ongoing effort that involves everyone. Continue to share our tips with your friends and family—because cyber security awareness doesn’t end today—it lasts all year long!