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Android-based phones currently account for 79% of the smartphone marketplace (http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/29/strategy-analytics-2013-smartphone-share/). With that said, we wanted to share a few tips to keep your Android phone and its data secure. Just like a typical desktop computer or laptop, it’s smart to take active steps to improve its security and limit access to your important information if it’s hacked, lost, or stolen.
Lock your phone after a few minutes of inactivity
Using the screen lock feature on your phone is the first line of defense from a physical attack on your phone. If your phone gets lost or stolen, the screen lock is there to slow down or stop an attacker from getting access to your data. Typical lock choices are:
Use device encryption
Do you remember those magic eye images - you know the ones you stare at trying to decipher what the image is behind the random and undecipherable pattern? Think of the process of data encryption similar to those images – except that after data encryption, you’re the only one who can “see” the actual image beneath the surface. It essentially makes your data only readable by you. If your phone supports it, it’s a good idea to encrypt your phone’s operating system and storage to prevent unauthorized access of your data in the event your phone is lost or stolen. Remember to encrypt the external storage card also.
Do not jailbreak your device
When you “jailbreak” or “root” your Android device, it means you are bypassing important security controls to gain full access to your phone’s operating system. Rooting your phone often voids your warranty and can create additional security risks.
Just like your personal computer, your smartphone is susceptible to virus, malware, and spyware attacks. Antivirus products are not fool proof, but most have features that can snap photos of an attacker trying to break the screen lock, automatically scan your phone to find infections and delete them, locate your phone if lost, and much more. Antivirus software can be downloaded in the Google Play store. Here are a few top rated antivirus products for an Android smartphone. Remember to enable automatic updates for your antivirus product.
Keeping your phone up-to-date
Keeping your apps and Android operating system up-to-date is essential to patch various vulnerabilities. Enable automatic updates for all apps and operating system updates to stay current.
Be cautious of connecting to open networks
Public and other unsecured networks can be a dangerous place to connect your phone. A cellular data connection is far more secure than an open Wi-Fi network.
Do not click on suspicious links and attachments
Just like your computer, hacking/phishing attempts can be written to effect phones as well. Only open web links and attachments from trusted sources to reduce your risk of compromise.
Turn off unused features
Bluetooth and NFC (near field communications) are good examples because they can dramatically increase your risk of unauthorized users in your physical vicinity gaining access to your data. Turn features off when not in use.
While no one tip listed above will keep your Android phone completely secure in itself, acting on all of them will give you the best chance to protect your phone and data when you need it the most (hacking attempts or a lost/stolen phone). Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions/comments about utilizing these tips!
What names are on your checking account? This sounds like a pretty simple question, but you would be surprised how many people are unclear about it. If you are married, perhaps you do not have both you and your spouse on the same account. There are many reasons why this may be the case. Maybe you and your spouse have separate accounts. Perhaps when you opened the account, the other person wasn't present or maybe you have had major life changes. There can be many reasons why.
Think back to when you opened your account one, five, 15 or more years ago. Is everything the same as it was back then? Have you revisited your account set up to ensure your account reflects the stage of life you're in now? Let's discuss why it might be important to do a quick review of your accounts. It's something that may take you a few minutes, but can be very worthwhile.
Account titling can be something that we would be glad to help you with at your local MutualBank Financial Center. You should have an account review on at least a yearly basis to make sure your present life situation is reflected in your bank accounts. This is very important as banking becomes more dependent on electronic banking, such as mobile banking, online banking, etc. Also, as an estate planning tool, you need to be sure that your assets pass to who you want them to go to in the event of an unexpected tragedy. This is important whether you are 18 or 80!
Let us at MutualBank help you live a better life!
At the end of 2011 the Bank had quite a year. Taking a look back we celebrated 122 years in business – dating back to helping people live better lives since 1889. Since that time a lot has changed – even in 2011 we saw several changes. Outside of celebrating our 122 years, here are a few highlights of 2011. We unveiled our mobile banking application – MutualMobile. We upgraded to an improved electronic statement delivery, and offered a new checking account offering that provides customers with choices to build an account best suited for his, her, or their family’s lifestyle.
The hidden pieces that make all of this happen? The employees. Many employees have dedicated their entire career to MutualBank. In December of 2011, we held our annual years of service breakfast recognizing employees who have worked 5 through 40 years at the Bank.
I started at the bank in 1999 as a part-time teller finishing my degree at Ball State in Telecommunications. I moved to accounting after being a teller for a year. Then, I moved to the loan operations department where I processed loan paper work. Next, I began closing loans. Who knows, I may have even helped you sign the paperwork for your first home!
After closing loans I began using my education and skills learned from previous positions in the Marketing department, communicating in a variety of ways with customers like you. After a couple of years in Marketing I became Manager of the Call Center. I had never been a manager before, but MutualBank believed in me and gave me a chance – a chance many organizations would not have given. This is a testament to MutualBank’s ability to help people grow. As a company that fosters employee development, my part-time teller position took me to where I am today in the organization. As head of training and development I am fortunate to have the opportunity to welcome all new employees.
I tell new employees in orientation, “MutualBank is a great place to work. While I believe that to be true, you’ll have to find out for yourself.” As orientation continues, new employees begin to see exactly what the company really is about. Visiting with a variety of employees, including our President who treats new employees to lunch, employees begin to see a company who cares about its employees.
You, your family, and your friends have the same opportunity. MutualBank is always looking for customer service driven individuals who want to be a part of a great team. I would encourage you to take a look at our open positions and see if there is a career that awaits you. As a college student looking to make it big in the film industry I ended up finding my calling - who knew it would be working at a bank. It is without question, had I not worked at MutualBank, my career would not be what it is today. Similar career opportunities are available for others! If you’re looking for a great place to work, then take a minute to see if you might find a job opportunity with MutualBank. Who knows, maybe you'll be our next 40 year employee!
I’m 50 now. Shhh – don’t tell anyone. My brain still hasn’t caught up with my physical age in many ways, and I kind of hope it doesn’t. I’m actually working on just the opposite – getting my physicality in a little better shape, and a little ‘younger.’ It’s a long-term commitment, for sure.
My brain does act 50 sometimes though – when it comes to being technology-savvy, I’m a little slow to get on board. It took a lot of poking and prodding to get me on Facebook. I’ve been on it for a few years, and I have to face facts – my technology-driven friends were ‘right on.’ I’ve reconnected & learned more about friends -from my current pals all the way back to elementary school chums. Facebook is as intimidating as I let it be. I’ve learned to manage the urge to be on it incessantly. I’ve become closer with some of my friends as a result, and I know some acquaintances better than before.
I have a Smartphone, read books and magazines on my Kindle, am on LinkedIn (the professional social network, so they say), and I do most of my banking via the internet. I get my bank statements via email, and I have to stop sometimes as I flip through my mail at home – and ask myself why haven’t I signed up for almost everything to come electronically? So much paper is wasted….
Truth is, I’m not quite as tech-savvy as I could be, but I’m solidly above the bottom of the matrix. Maybe I’m in the ‘first quartile’ of tech-savvy? I don’t tweet, use Foursquare or Hootsuite, and frankly, don’t even know what a couple of those are. But I’m trying. Are you?
The New Year gives us the little nudge we need sometimes to try something new. Maybe you’ve been thinking about trying online banking or online bill pay. Maybe you’d like to use mobile banking, but you’re just not sure. Do it. Take that leap and try something new this year. Who knows, maybe you’ll be like this 50 year old and find that technology can be good.