While many people take steps to secure their smartphones, they often forget to do the same with their tablets. Often times, our tablets contain even more sensitive information since we tend to use them in place of laptops. Before you do anything else with your device, sit down and take the following steps for optimal tablet security.
Anti-virus isn’t just for your computer. Even when you download apps from reputable sources, you might still encounter malicious apps. Anti-virus apps for tablets are designed to scan newly downloaded apps before you open them to ensure they’re safe. These apps also scan attachments before downloading and some even warn you about dangerous sites before opening them. Some of the major anti-virus makers also have app versions of their Internet and computer security software such as McAfee, Avast and AVG.
Be Careful On Public Wi-Fi
Identity thieves and hackers love public Wi-Fi. It’s easy for them to “pick up” any un-encrypted data transmitted via a public connection. Even secure sites, such as banking and shopping sites, could be compromised by prying eyes. The best thing you can do is avoid sharing any personally identifying information while on Wi-Fi. Alternately, install a strong firewall or use your data connection instead.
Lock With A Password
If you store any sensitive data on your tablet, don’t rely solely on the lock screen to keep you safe. Instead, go into your tablet’s settings and create a lock password. After swiping, you’ll be required to enter a password to use the device.
This is also a good idea if you want to prevent friends and family from using your tablet the moment you put it down. If your tablet supports it, you can also use a fingerprint password for optimal security.
Use Remote Wipe Or Auto Destruct
Some tablet security apps, such as Lookout, offer a remote wipe feature. This feature allows you to remotely format your tablet if it’s stolen. You’ll need to carefully set up the feature and ensure you remember your log-in details. While you may never have to use it, it’s a lifesaver in the event of theft.
Backup Data Regularly
Whether you take advantage of your tablet’s sync features or manually backup your files, always keep a backup of any important data on your device. You never know when your tablet might get a virus, be damaged or get stolen. For instance, if you have to activate the wipe feature, you’ll permanently lose any data you haven’t backed up. If you don’t want to use a cloud backup, backup files to a microSD or USB drive (if supported by your device) and store them on your computer or transfer them to an external hard drive.
Turn Off Location Services
Many apps request permission to know your location, especially weather and map apps. However, turning on location or GPS services could put you at risk. Apps could be posting your location for others to view or it may be stored on pictures you post. When you’re not using these services, turn them off to keep you and your tablet more secure.
In part 2 of this article, we’ll look at more ways to make your tablet as secure as possible.