Maintaining Mobile Safety on Your Smartphone
used with permission from Norton by Symantec

Our phones play an integral part in both our everyday and business lives. But as more of us use these portable wonders, the potential for more problems increases as well.

Because cybercriminals are actively targeting mobile devices that lack sufficient protection,  keeping your smartphone safe is extremely important. This includes protecting both your software and hardware.

According to a 2013 report from London€s Metropolitan Police, a staggering 70% of all personal crime is phone theft.* And if someone isn€t trying to lift your device, it seems as if everyone else is trying to hack into it and steal your files.

Is there anything you can do to help protect your phone from theft? Is an antivirus app really necessary? What about safe usage of mobile phones and children? Let€s explore all of these topics and get the answers you need.

Mobile antivirus: What you can do to stay safe

Why the rise in crime? New technology presents new opportunities for the unscrupulous among us. Stolen smartphones for sale can reap hundreds of pounds on the black market. There€s always someone looking for cheap phones in the U.K.€even if that deal is a little too good to be true. Along this line, you can well imagine what could happen to your bank account if the wrong person were to gain access to your financial logins. To help protect yourself, here are a few mobile phone tips to help:

Mobile tip # 1: Use free public WiFi with caution

You€re out. You€re famished. And you€re near a coffee shop. This combination means it€s time to check your email and social network news while you enjoy a nice cup of coffee, right? But hang on. Using free public WiFi isn€t as secure as you may think.

It isn€t difficult for those sitting around you to use hacking software and €listen in€, following every move you make on your laptop or other device as you use public WiFi. Do the sensible thing: Wait until you€re on a secure network to log into your bank account, Internet email, or social network. 

Let your children know this too. Safe usage with smartphones for kids includes watching where they go online and the connections they make. Keep this in mind the next time you€re catching up online at the airport or anywhere that offers free public WiFi.

Mobile safety tip # 2: Read the fine print

Have you ever zoomed right by the app's permissions and clicked 'Install' without reading or understanding exactly what you were allowing onto your smartphone? Take the time to read what's there. You could be agreeing to something you'd rather not. Pay particular attention to the permissions with free apps. You may 'pay' for them in other ways you'd rather avoid--like providing unfettered access to your contact list or even giving away the publishing rights to your private photos.

Mobile safety tip # 3: Remain aware of your surroundings

Some of the dangers of smartphones don€t relate to software. In our new heads-down world, there is plenty of opportunity for thieves to take advantage of the oblivious. Don€t be this person. Remain aware of where you are. If you need to consult your phone for a quick email or map check, do so in safe surroundings and then put it away. 

Activate your phone€s lock screen. Even the best of us can forget our device and leave it at the coffee house or airport. A locked screen will prevent any curious finders from perusing your private files. Keep in mind that the experienced cybercriminal can easily bypass this feature, however. For more online security, think about installing an app to track your phone or erase your data from afar.

Mobile safety tip # 4: Back up often and keep your data safe

Even if you follow these tips on safety, accidents can happen. An absentminded move knocking your smartphone to the floor can send all of your phone€s data to an early electronic grave. And your photos, contact information, and important texts and emails could go with it.

To help prevent any mishaps like this from happening, keep files on your phone safe by backing up your data periodically. By syncing your phone with your PC or the Cloud, you can store extra digital copies just in case of an accident. Apple offers iCloud for photo storage, while Android has Google+, where you can share or just store photos or videos privately.

Norton Mobile Security can also help keep you one step ahead of any mishaps and make sure you are fully armed and secured with the antivirus protection you need. Everything you do now to keep your phone safe can help ensure peace of mind in the future.