Friday, July 25, 2014

How to Secure Your Tablet

Designed to be halfway between a smartphone and laptop, tablets are often considered to have the best of both worlds. As functional as a laptop while still being compact and portable enough to carry around in a small bag or purse, for many individuals their tablets are their go-to device. This also makes tablets a tempting target for thieves and hackers. While most people know to secure their laptops and keep a careful hand on their smartphones, tablets can contain just as much vulnerable information.

From social media to banking, many individuals use their tablets for more than just playing Candy Crush. Wherever you happen to fall in that category, here are three more tips on how to better secure your tablet.

Download Carefully

In this day and age of prevalent technology, all of us at some point have been told to “Think before you click!” and other points of advice about keeping our devices safe. Nevertheless, accidentally downloading malicious files or apps is still very common. Even if you’re on a protected network, a more secure connection won’t be much help if you don’t exert caution when downloading.

Make sure that you only download from trusted sites, especially when it comes to tablet apps. Rather than risk malware from third-party sites, stick to reputable and official sources like the Google Play Store, iOS App Store, and the Amazon App Store. Also read the reviews and app permissions before downloading a new app. Many negative reviews or questionable permissions are often a good sign that something is wrong with the app or that it’s just not worth having in the first place.

Browse Selectively

If you must use a public Wi-Fi and don’t have a secured connection, be very selective when browsing through websites. Encrypted websites that have “https” addresses (instead of just ordinary “http” addresses) are more secure. As long as your provider encrypts the entirely of your email session, you are probably safe to check your emails without worrying that some stranger on the Wi-Fi is snooping on what you’re doing. However, avoid financially sensitive things like making online purchases or checking your bank account. Wait until you’re back on your secure home network or use a reliable VPN service while travelling.

Back Up Your Data and Use Security Apps

Simple to do yet so valuable, backing up your tablet data can be a lifesaver. Whether it gets lost, stolen, hacked, or just stops working, data backups are a basic step you can take to ensure that you don’t just lose everything. Some people prefer frequently backing up an external hard drive, saving their files to cloud storage services like Dropbox, investing in software that manually or automatically captures their data, or any combination of the above.

Another step is to consider is using security apps. These often provide features like virus protection, device location, and remote wipe functionality. There are many options as several apps that secure smartphones, like the Lookout Mobile Security app, also work for tablets.

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