We keep a lot of personal information on our phones. Here are some tips we gathered from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to help protect your privacy and keep your phone secure.
Avoid risk where possible.
Limit the sensitive information you keep on your phone to what is only necessary. Don’t leave your phone unattended or visible in your vehicle.
Be prepared for theft.
Consider looking into software that allows you to track a lost or stolen phone (like Find My iPhone). Apps like this allow you to erase the content of your phone remotely. You may want to keep a copy of the make, model, and serial number of your phone. You can use this to block your phone from unauthorized use through your service provider.
Use the automatic lock feature.
Using the fingerprint or password authentication provides an additional layer of protection. Avoid using default or factory passwords that can be easily accessed by hackers. Read tips on setting a strong password.
Encryption turns information into text so it can’t be read without a “key” to decipher it. You may be able to do this through your phone’s settings in the “security” section. You can also buy encryption apps.
Delete your content before selling or recycling your phone.
Ensure all your personal information is erased from the phone. Read more about how to safely do this.
Secure your Wi-Fi at home.
You can do this by enabling your router’s encryption feature, choosing a strong password, and hiding your network ID.
Avoid public Wi-Fi for e-transfers and other sensitive transactions.
Public networks may not be secure so others may be able to capture the data you send. Read some tips for using public Wi-Fi.
Be picky when choosing apps.
Look for reliable companies and trusted websites. Look for features like anti-spam, anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall protection.
Read the fine print.
Find out how your personal information will be used, collected, and shared before you accept the terms and conditions.
Update your software and apps.
Older devices and software may not support the newest privacy and security settings. Viruses and malicious software are always advancing. Keep up by updating your apps and software.
Do you have questions about this information or want a better understanding of privacy issues? Visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s website. They’ve have a ton of resources available online and can also be contacted directly by email or phone.
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.