We’ve heard a lot of news lately about how smartphones are the new frontier for hackers, virus writers, and cybercriminals. We talked to the folks on the Windows Phone 7 team and they haven’t heard any complaints about mobile viruses yet, but we thought it wouldn’t hurt to give you four ways that you can help secure any smartphone.
You’ll notice that this advice isn’t much different than what we’d recommend to help you secure your laptop or your desktop computer.
1. Protect your phone with a password. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can go a long way toward protecting your information if you’ve secured it with a password or a Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you use your phone to access your company’s email or intranet, chances are that they already require that you protect it with a password or PIN.
2. Be careful when you install apps on your phone. Apps can do nearly everything these days, from streamlining your social networking to changing the channels on your TV. No matter what kind of phone you have, install apps from a trusted source. For Windows Phone, you can only install apps from the Zune Marketplace. This means that they have been digitally signed, which reduces your risk. The same purchasing model is used with Apple’s iPhone, but not with Google’s Android phone.
3. Install your phone’s updates. Just like on your PC, you should install all updates for your phone and for the apps on your phone.
4. Make sure your smartphone has a feature that helps you find it if you lose it or if it is stolen. Windows 7 includes a “Find My Phone” feature that allows you to find a lost phone, lock it remotely, and also wipe it remotely so that no one can get access to the information there. You can usually install a third-party app that can do this for you.