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Secure mobile devices

A properly secured smartphone, tablet and laptop are necessary to keep cyber criminals or other intruders out. If a device falls into the wrong hands, it can cause a lot of damage. These tips will get you started.

Keep your devices up to date
  • Activate an antivirus.
  • Activate automatic updates for your hardware and software. This ensures that as soon as a vulnerability is detected, your device will be better protected.
  • Shut down your devices every day. After all, updates are usually performed automatically at start-up.
Secure your devices with a strong password or code
  • If possible, encrypt your devices, including your USB sticks and portable hard drives. If you use an SD card, you should encrypt this as well.
  • Choose a good PIN code for your SIM card. When you receive a new SIM card, choose a suitable PIN code that is not directly linked to you. PIN codes such as 0000, 1111 or 1234 should be avoided, as well as your date of birth or the PIN code of your eID or bank card.
  • Choose a strong password and not a pattern. Change this password regularly (preferably every 3 months).
  • Activate the automatic locking of your smartphone when it is inactive (maximum 1 minute)
  • If possible, set up your smartphone or tablet to lock for a certain time after a number of failed attempts and to automatically delete your data after too many access attempts. Of course, make sure that good back-ups are available.
Access and applications
  • Only allow access to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC), data, geolocation, etc, when necessary. Do not select automatic activation (e.g. for Wi-Fi).
  • Only use secure applications and programs. Only install applications from a standard application store (Google Play, App Store) and software from an official retailer.
  • Regularly delete applications you do not use and frequently check the data your applications use to detect inappropriate traffic.
  • Restrict access of your applications to what is strictly necessary. For example, a calculator app does not need access to your location or contacts.
Maintain control
  • Do not leave your devices unattended.
  • Make sure others do not have access to your devices.
  • Sensitive calls can be made in a private room or in a secure area.
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