Securing the Smartphone Supercomputer in Your Pocket


What do you call this thing? A phone, right? That’s exactly where all the trouble starts.

When we call it a phone, we treat it like a phone. This is a phone. And this. Phone. Phone. Phone. Even this is a phone. But this? This is a teeny tiny super computer that just happens to make phone calls.  

On average, you use your smartphone to make calls only 20% of the time. The rest of the time you’re doing what? You’re Computing! Emailing, working, surfing antique Hummel auctions for your Grandma Thada. That is actually my Grandma Thada.  

Since it’s a computer, treat it with the same love you give your laptop. Here’s how to get started. First, if you don’t already have a passcode turned on, TURN IT ON! You shouldn’t be texting and driving anyway!

Second, instead of using an easily hackable four-digit passcode, make it long and strong. Here’s the best combination: Make it 6 or more characters for security’s sake and then turn on Touch ID to make it super convenient to actually use. Biometrics aren’t 100% secure, but they are way better than a four-digit passcode!

Third, make possession an obsession. Don’t leave your smartphone alone, even while you get a refill. With control of the email account on this little portable ATM, a criminal can do a bank-account-password-reset-savings-account-balance-transfer-to-Eastern-Europe faster than it took me to just say that.

Here’s your One Minute Mission: I want you to call your mobile provider and ask them to put a call-in password on your account. That way, if a hacker gets ahold of your mobile computer and calls your provider to take over the account, their call… doesn’t… connect. But make sure you share the password with your spouse so they don’t feel like the criminal. So you need a device passcode and a call-in passcode: These are two steps that will take you two minutes and make you ten times as safe.  

For Sileo On Security, always remember to treat this like a computer. Grandma Thada would be proud.

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