We've made almost every aspect of our lives digital. With that change comes an added need to protect that data just like we would protect our wallets, lock our cars, and keep our valuables in safe places. Keeping your digital life safe from cyber attacks extends beyond a password-protected laptop. You have apps for everything from your favorite shopping retailers to your bank to your postal mail on your phone. That's plenty of sensitive information that you want to keep to yourself. Keeping your phone safe with key cybersecurity practices is just as important.
1. Set up two-factor authentication on your devices
Give yourself an extra layer of security by linking your mobile phone with important accounts. This is done with a two-step verification process known as two-factor authentication, or 2FA.
What is two-factor authentication? PCMag's lead security analyst Neil J. Rubenking explains it this way: access for an account happens in three ways. First, you can authenticate your account using something you know, such as a password. Second, you can use something you have, such as a mobile device. Third, it can be part of something you are, such as your fingerprint or a FaceID. Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, uses two of these options.
Setting up an auto-lock on your mobile device so it will ask for a passcode before providing access is smart. Setting up 2FA for a double layer of protection is the smartest option. With 2FA, only you can access your account on a trusted device or the web. See Apple support to enable 2FA with your iOS device. See Google support to enable 2FA with your Android device. When you do this, you will receive a verification code, typically through a text message. You may also get a security key by scanning a QR code from your mobile device.
2. Use trustworthy services
Not all services are trustworthy or offer security options to protect your data. Choosing those who do will keep you more secure from cyber threats. Not all mobile app developers have the highest level of account security. Even some innocent-looking games can have nefarious uses, so be careful which apps you download.
At Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom company, we believe every customer deserves the highest level of protection. The security of our customers' mail is of paramount importance, and every account can be enabled with 2FA. Other top brands like Amazon, Dashlane, Dropbox, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter also have the 2FA extra security feature and instructions to enable it.
3. Update your devices to the latest operating system
Most of us can plead guilty to getting an alert on our digital devices to update the software and then completely ignoring it. Your mobile devices, like Apple iOS and Google Android, have teams of experts constantly working to keep up with the latest cybersecurity attacks and offer frequent updates to combat the attacks. Although those pesky updates can be annoying, ignoring them can put you at risk. Software updates contain security fixes intended to keep your devices safe. Cybercriminals can infect your devices with malware, steal your data, and even take control of your devices.
Tip: Program your devices to run software updates at night, and you will sleep right through it.
4. Be prepared to erase your data on a lost or stolen device remotely.
There are several methods to keep your data safe from cyber security thieves.
You have two choices for an iOS Apple device, a manual or automatic method:
- Manual method: Log in to iCloud from a web browser. Select All Devices, choose your device, then select Erase iPhone.
- Automatic method: To auto-erase your data after 10 failed passcode attempts: Go to Settings, Touch ID & Passcode, and turn on Erase Data.
For a Google Android device, you can lock your device or erase your data remotely.
- From your computer, visit https://www.google.com/android/find and enter your Google account credentials.
- Once you have logged in, the Device Manager will attempt to locate your phone. You should see a map showing the location of your device.
- You can either "Ring" your device, "Lock" it, or "Erase" it.
- If you choose Erase, you will be asked to enter a new password. Then a warning window will pop up. If you agree, all the data on your phone will be erased.
At Earth Class Mail, we take the responsibility of receiving and handling our customer's mail and important documents very seriously. And while we would love to provide a virtual mailing address for everyone, we are most concerned that anyone using a virtual mailing address service knows their private information is safe with us. So even if you choose to use a different provider, make sure they're following security best practices. Don't turn over your postal mail to a company that makes your information vulnerable.
To learn more about Earth Class Mail's offerings, go here.