Your smartphone packs in as much power as your notebook or desktop did just a few years ago, it stores a lot of your valuable personal and work information, and it's almost always connected to the internet.
These three factors mean that you should protect your device with as much care as you would your PC.
Here are five simple tips that will help to protect the information on your device from malware, thieves, device faults and other security concerns.
1. Set a password
This simple step is one of the most fundamental elements of smartphone security because it keeps prying eyes away from email, notes and other confidential info stored on your smartphone.
Most smartphone manufacturers allow you to set a pin number or a password that needs to be entered every time you switch your device on or try to access it after a period of inactivity. Choose a password or number that other people will not be able to easily guess.
2. Install security software
Now that smartphones are behaving more like computers and contain potentially valuable information (banking details, emails and more), they have the attention of malware authors and other criminals.
For this reason, you should consider installing some antivirus software to protect your device from malware. F-Secure, Norton, and other major security software vendors offer versions of their packages for all the major smartphone platforms.
3. Enable remote wipe
By far the biggest security risk you face is that your smartphone gets lost or stolen. Rather than worry about someone rifling through the data of the device stolen off your car seat in a smash and grab or left on a table at a restaurant, enable remote wipe.
This will let you clean way your pictures, business contacts, emails, and so on remotely from any internet connection if your device is gone and you don't expect to be able to recover it.
If you haven't given up on getting your phone back, remote location features might help you to get an approximate idea of where the device is.
Some manufacturers such as BlackBerry and Apple offer remote wipe and location tracking apps and capabilities for their latest devices, while third-party apps are available for other platforms.
4. Download trusted apps
It might be tempting to jailbreak your iPhone or to 'root' your Android device to run apps not available in the official application stores, but it exposes your device to malware that those stores screen out.
Rather stick to the authorised sources for applications since they have rigorous quality control processes to ensure that your apps don't come with any unwanted bonus features.
5. Back up your data
You keep your life on your smartphone - your email and telephone contacts, documents, photos of your precious memories, and more. Treat that data with the respect it deserves by backing it up to your PC or the cloud so that you don't lose it if your phone is lost, stolen or physically damaged.
Many smartphones allow you to make a comprehensive backup of your device to a computer, or to sync your most critical data and settings to an online service.
William James, CellFind