Phones and tablets

Smartphones and tablets allow calls, messaging and 24-hour internet access from just about anywhere. With so much personal information stored on our devices, in the apps we use, in our email accounts and our contacts,  we must keep all our devices safe and secure.

a range of smartphones and tablets

What can I do?

Follow these few easy steps and increase the security on your devices.

Phones and tablets are small and therefore easily mislaid. Never leave them unattended, and try to develop a routine so that you check that you have your device every time you leave anywhere.

Set passcodes

Smart devices usually use PIN codes or swipe patterns for security, and these act in the same way as passwords. Some smart devices allow you to use fingerprint logins or other kinds of bio-metrics. PIN codes for smart devices should be treated like PIN codes for credit cards – and never be shared.

How to set strong passwords

Turn off Bluetooth, GPS and location services

Smart devices have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. For extra safety, turn these features off when you are not using them.

Many apps have features that track your location. Remember to turn off location services when you don't need it.

How to turn off location services

How to videos about Bluetooth - phones and tablets

Block your phone number

One of the easiest safety steps is blocking your phone number so you can’t be identified when you call other people. Blocking your phone number stops your number being displayed when you call others. This is useful if you don’t want the person you are calling to be able to call you back. Call blocking does not work for SMS, MMS or other messaging. It only works for phone calls.

How to videos about blocking your phone number

Manage in-app purchasing

In-app purchases allow different functions and features to be accessed within apps. If you have children, these can become expensive purchases. You can limit and monitor ‘in-app purchases’ through Settings on your device. You can turn off in-app purchases, set passwords that only you know and restrict purchases to those that are age-appropriate.

Protect your device

Android devices are susceptible to viruses, malware and spyware. There are apps you can download to reduce the risks, including some that offer basic protection for free.

Smart devices regularly notify you of system and app updates and ask to install them. You should accept updates as they will then have the latest security features, bug fixes and new features. It is best to start updates when you are connected to Wi-Fi as they can use a lot of data.

Back up important music, photos, videos and data on your device to a computer, and also consider a doing a second backup to a separate portable disk drive or USB.

How to protect your Apple account

Audio description version

Was this page helpful?


Please select Yes or No before submitting

processing...

Thank you for your feedback

Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again