4 tips to secure your new smartphone, tablet or device

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For technology fans, there’s few better feelings than opening up the box of your new smartphone or tablet. 

But with so many ways to break, scratch and damage a device, there aren’t too many people out there who like to risk having it out in the open without some sort of protection, be that a cover or screen protector.

There’s no reason to stop with the protection once your new device is wrapped up securely, as installing proper security software is paramount for any new connected purchase.

Android smartphones, iPhones, tablets and other devices are susceptible to many of the same cyberthreats that computers are. And since mobile devices are now regularly used for online banking, shopping and social media among many other things, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t look to protect all of the information that’s on them.

So if you’re ready to protect your new device, here are some of our top tips:

Set up a pin

Let’s start off with something straightforward. Phones and tablets (as many people reading this may probably agree with) are all-too-easy to misplace. 

With so much personal information stored on these devices, letting them potentially fall into the wrong hands without any form of security could lead to devastating consequences.

Setting up a pin code – alongside biometric security such as a fingerprint or facial scan – helps to ensure that you’re the only person who can access the data on your device.

Install antivirus software

We know what you’re thinking: why would you need antivirus software on a handheld device?

The truth is that cybercrime knows no bounds, with criminals increasingly targeting mobile devices precisely due to the fact that such items often lack proper protection. In fact, cyberattacks on mobile devices rose 50 percent in 2019, according to research from Check Point.

Phones and tablets are constantly being used for everyday activities like online banking, shopping and browsing. But doing so can also expose your information, making you vulnerable to cybercrime – especially if those devices aren’t secured properly.

Sometimes you can’t even trust the apps themselves, with nearly half of the 21 Android antivirus apps tested by Comparitech containing vulnerabilities that affect over 28 million people, according to Forbes.

Every new device owner should install internet security from a reputable provider as soon as they have their device booted up. There are packaged solutions like Norton 360, which includes Norton Mobile Security iOS and Norton Mobile Security Android, along with antivirus and malware protection for computers.

Norton Mobile Security helps stop malicious apps with exclusive cyberthreat-detecting technology for Android devices, and provides an on-the-go travelling solution for iOS and Android alike.

Protect the information you send and receive over Wi-Fi connections

“What’s the Wi-Fi password here?”

It might just be the most commonly asked question by any smartphone or tablet owner. Cafes, shops and restaurants all offer a brief holiday from data usage, and cybercriminals know that. 

Public Wi-Fi can present a major security risk as hackers can set up fake connections and even tap into legitimate ones to see what online sites and services you are using, and potentially even what information you’re entering.

All new device owners should ensure that they have some sort of Wi-Fi security installed, helping to detect and alert if your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network that’s under attack.

Better yet, consider using a mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN). These private connections mask your location and encrypt your traffic, letting you browse the web without worrying about anyone stealing your information. 

Update the operating system and apps

Smartphones, tablets and other devices might not be as large as computers, but that doesn’t make them any less susceptible to cyberthreats. One of the ways cybercriminals steal information and plant viruses is by using vulnerabilities found in outdated versions of software or the operating system.

Patches fix these vulnerabilities, ensuring that they can’t be used to cause harm to a computer, but also help with mobile apps and iOS or Android operating systems.

Make sure that you’ve updated all your apps and your device’s operating system to the latest patch version. Not only will this give you all the latest features that you’d otherwise miss, but it’ll improve the security of your device.

Want to keep your new smartphone, tablet or device safe? Check out Norton 360 to learn how it improves your internet security.