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Mobile devices

Mobile devices with Internet access meanwhile resemble little computers used for working, communicating and storing confidential data. Your smartphone or tablet is just as susceptible as your PC to viruses, data theft and theft of bank or credit card data. The security precautions which apply to PCs therefore apply equally, or even more, to mobile devices.

All users of mobile phones, smartphones, tablet PCs etc. should therefore note the following, brief security guidelines:

General security precautions

Use the PIN lock!

It is essential that you use the opportunity for entering a PIN when you switch on and unlock your smartphone. You should replace the PIN pre-defined by the provider with your own PIN.

Use a firewall and antivirus software also for your mobile device!

A firewall controls the opening/closing of ports accessed by your smartphone. A firewall should however be used with caution: some apps do not function at all, or only to a limited degree, without a separate authorisation.

Antivirus software prevents the installation of malware and often offers additional functions such as SMS and call filters.

You should always implement app and system updates reasonably quickly.

App and system updates often close security holes and should therefore be performed as quickly as possible. This will make it impossible for an adversary to use these holes in the future.

Apps

Only buy apps in official stores.

Malware spreads most easily when an app is installed. New apps should only be bought in official stores!

Beware of bargain offers when buying an app.

If an app that is not free of charge is offered at a much lower price or at no cost by another provider, one may risk installing malware with the app.

Check the authorisations requested by apps.

Many apps claim extensive rights on your smartphone for no discernible reason: access to location data, address book, telephone status and other access rights. This is not a requirement of every app. Check the requested authorisations whenever you download.

Check whether, and which, app is authorised to access your location data.

In some cases, mobile units can identify and store location data automatically, for navigation or advertising purposes, for example. If in doubt, it is better not to touch apps which access your location data for no discernible reason, or you should deactivate the location data function.

How to store your data

If you lose your mobile phone, instruct your provider to block your SIM card immediately!

In the event of loss of your mobile phone, contact your provider without delay. The provider can block the SIM card. This will protect you from incurring costs through third-party use of your mobile phone.

Install a location app on your smartphone.

If you lose your mobile phone you can find it again with the help of a location app. This facility is often included in safety apps with more extensive functions.

Install an app for remote data deletion.

If you have stored sensitive data on your mobile device, you should consider installing an app for remote data deletion. In such an event it usually suffices to send a pre-defined message to your own number.

But be careful: This function can also be used with malicious intent by a third party – never disclose this to anyone.

Regularly backup your smartphone data.

Regular backups of your smartphone data stores act as a safeguard against data loss or damage to hardware.

Before disposing of your smartphone you should remove the SIM card and delete and overwrite the data store.

If you store sensitive data on your smartphone it is not sufficient to simply delete it when you dispose of your device! The data store must be completely overwritten with new data and subsequently formatted.

You should also remove and destroy the SIM card unless you intend to continue using it or are required to return it to your mobile provider.