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Guide to helping secure your mobile device

Don't overlook protecting your mobile device.

Get antivirus software and keep it up to date

Reliable antivirus and anti-malware apps are available for Android™ and Apple® mobile devices (phones, tablets, notebooks). Your mobile device needs this protection too—especially if you're accessing sensitive or financial information. And, don't forget to update the antivirus software; it's only as good as its last update.

If you're unsure which software to install, search the internet for product comparisons.

Use apps carefully

Take care when installing apps on your device by following these tips:

Download apps securely.
Always get your apps from reputable sources like the Apple App StoreSM or Google Play™ store to minimize the chance the apps contain malware.

Research apps before downloading.
Review what an app can read and change on your device before downloading it to make sure that the app's access to your device is appropriate.

Update apps, especially security-related ones.
Speaking of updates, it's usually safer to disable the "automatic update" feature on apps and your devices and update your apps manually. This way, you can review each update and determine if you want to proceed.

Sync your device safely

Syncing your mobile device "in the cloud" allows you to access files and content on any of your devices anywhere there's an internet connection. But you need to sync carefully.

Use a reputable service.
Make sure that you use a cloud service provider that offers strong security and encryption services, including an SSL connection, to keep your information protected.

Sweat the details.
Research the security features of cloud computing services on the internet or contact the vendors' customer service areas to learn what they do and don't provide.

Protect your password.
Periodically change your syncing service password, if the provider offers that service. And never store your syncing password unencrypted on your device.

Follow these additional tips

Lock your device.
Set up a password or pattern so that only you can unlock your device. And set your screen to automatically lock after a certain amount of inactivity.

Change all your online passwords if your device is stolen.

Be careful with QR codes.
A QR (quick response) code is a square, two-dimensional barcode made up of smaller squares. Scanning a QR code with your mobile device is a quick way to go to a specific website for more information about a service or product. But, hackers have been creating malicious QR codes to direct clients to websites that could steal data or install malware that could infect and take over your device. Before scanning, look at the validity of the company or product and verify that any physical QR codes haven't been tampered with or replaced by something like a sticker.