Smartphone technology is moving forward at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, this opens up new ways for an increasing number of mobile phone scams. These scams can cost you, and people have lost anything from a few dollars to their whole life savings. As we all tend to use these devices as an integral part of our daily lives, you should know the types of mobile scams and how to avoid them.
Many scams do not involve hacking or compromising your security settings, but the scammers rely on people to readily give up information. By changing just a couple of your normal habits you can prevent becoming a victim of a mobile scam.
Being aware of security vulnerabilities, improving your security settings and being familiar with the type of scams that are doing the rounds will decrease the likelihood of you becoming a victim.
1. Be Wary Of Unknown Callers
You need to be careful of how you respond to unknown numbers. If you get a call or text from a number you don’t know, the best thing you can do is not to respond, especially if they want you to take action or request personal, financial or identifying information. One way that you could use to identify an unknown number is to use a Reverse Phone Lookup Tool.
2. Only Download Authorized Apps
One of the most important things you need to remember revolves around your bank account information. When doing online banking, you should only do so with your bank’s official app or website. Never store any of your personal or bank account information, or PIN numbers on your phone, and don’t ever share this information via email or text message. If your phone gets stolen or lost, any person that gets their hands on it will have access to all the information if they manage to log into your phone and bypass the log screen. When you download any app, whether it’s a banking app or a game, make sure you only download from official stores like Apple’s App Store or Google Play.
3. Know Your Phone’s Security Settings
You will be less likely to become in a victim if you know more about your phone, its operating system, the capabilities and vulnerabilities, and also the items on your bill. Every single smartphone has security settings that can be changed and set to keep your personal information safe.
4. Use Passwords and Pins
Always set the passcodes and screen locks on your phone so that nobody can easily gain access to your information. You can also use the built-in or downloaded phone tracking app. These can be turned on remotely from any other device such as your laptop, and can assist in tracking your phone if it is stolen or lost.
5. Take Precautions when using Public Wi-Fi Hotspot
Unlimited data plans and Wi-Fi hotspots allow us to always be connected. However, this also allows others to easily get to our information. When in public places, always try to not enter PIN numbers or passwords into your phone. Any person nearby on the subway might be able to easily see what you are doing and use that information to gain access to your accounts.
6. Run System Updates Regularly
Keep your eyes open for your phone’s latest operating system update. Updates normally fix known vulnerabilities and will often offer more security settings for your mobile phone. When looking at your bill, make sure you examine it thoroughly before making a payment. Check for any unauthorized texts, calls, or data usage on the bill. If you are not sure about a specific item on the bill, it is best to err on the side of caution and to notify the service provider.
7. Replacing Your Phone
When you decide to dispose of or sell your mobile phone, or any other type of mobile device, make sure you reset the device back to its factory default settings. Take out any extra memory storage cards like a MicroSD card and double check to make sure that all of your personal data and information has been removed. This will prevent the next owner from getting access to any of your data.