9 tips for smartphone safety

Smartphones are fantastic fun. They can do almost anything – from getting you home after a night out to managing your finances. But the more we do with our mobiles, the more personal they become. And if you’re not careful, you could be handing over a lot of personal information to a hacker or a thief without even knowing it.

Follow our guide to make sure you – and only you – get to enjoy your super smartphone.

Keep your mobile to yourself

We’re sure you already keep a close eye on your mobile when you’re out and about. After all, the last thing you need is a bill for calls you never made! Did you know you can also set up a PIN so only you can use your mobile? It’s easy to do – just go into your phone’s settings.

If the worst does happen though, you can report your lost or stolen phone to us online and we’ll ensure your SIM gets locked as soon as possible.

Get to know your IMEI number

If your phone is lost or stolen, you can stop other people from using it by giving your IMEI number to your mobile operator. To find yours, check behind the battery or on the box your mobile came in, or by tapping *#06# into your keypad. Make a note of this and keep it somewhere safe.

Keep your phone locked up

It’s tempting to ‘crack’, ‘jailbreak’ or ‘root’ your smartphone or tablet to remove restrictions on its operating system. This could allow you to install apps not currently available from trusted sources like the App Store, but doing so can leave your mobile open to attack from malicious software and could invalidate your mobile’s warranty.

Back up your precious files

Many smartphones let you save your photos, music and videos remotely so you can recover them if you lose your mobile. If you’re a Virgin Broadband customer, Virgin Media Cloud will keep all your files nice and secure – and you can access them anywhere you like.

More about Virgin Media Cloud

Stay clear of dodgy apps

Thinking of downloading an unofficial app? You could be letting a hacker control your handset, send texts, make calls or download stuff without your permission. Stay safe – only download official apps (like Virgin Media apps) from official sources such as the Apple App Store, Blackberry World or Google Play.

Boost your mobile’s immune system

It’s not just your computer that gets viruses and malware. Your mobile can pick them up from websites, emails or even any computer it’s plugged into. Download antivirus apps from your phone’s app store to protect your phone. Or, if you’re a Virgin Broadband customer, get award-winning internet security for your computer and mobile from our partners, F-Secure.

More about F-Secure SAFE

Find your mobile if it goes missing

Many smartphones come with apps that let you trace, lock or erase your mobile remotely from your computer (e.g. Find My iPhone, Blackberry Protect, Android Device Manager or Windows Find My Phone). For extra peace of mind you can also insure your phone with Virgin Media Protect, from just £2 a month. Easy.

More about our Insurance App

Don’t chuck out your old mobile

Thinking about getting rid of your mobile? Before you sell, recycle or donate it, remember to clear all the data and remove any media cards from it first. Do a full or ‘factory’ reset by going into your phone’s settings. Once you’ve done this, why not recycle your phone with us? We donate £1 to Scope for every phone we get.

More about our phone recycling

Get the latest updates

Every so often your smartphone may tell you to update your operating system or some of your apps. We recommend you do this as soon as possible. These updates may include new features or security to keep your phone safe from the latest bugs.

Use a phone with a different operating system?

Chances are the tips above will work with your phone (they're usually quite similar). If you're not having any joy, dig out your phone's manual and take a look.

Going abroadany time soon? Make sure you're set up.    Taking your mobile abroad

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