Security Tip (13-002)

International Mobile Safety Tips

Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.

October 29, 2013 marks the 4th Annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Cyber Security Awareness Day. To recognize this occasion and in observance of the 10th year of National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the United States, US-CERT, along with its international partners from Asia and Europe, is promoting a set of International Mobile Safety Tips that were developed by the National Cyber Security Alliance, InfollutionZero, the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance in Singapore, and the iZ HERO Project.

The goal of the campaign is to use harmonized messaging to reach out to children, families, and schools across the world, and to provide them with core principles and simple tips that can help people of all ages enjoy safer and more secure use of digital devices and the Internet.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to view the International Mobile Safety Tips at the following link and share them with their respective communities.


The guidelines below provide core principles and recommendations for more secure use of digital devices and the Internet.

  • Keep software updated. Running the most recent versions of your mobile operating system, security software, apps and Web browsers is among the best defenses against malware, viruses and other online threats.
  • Keep your device secure by using a strong password to lock your smartphone or tablet.
  • Enable two-step authentication when offered, and change passwords to any accounts you accessed while connected to an unfamiliar network. 
  • Before downloading an application (app), make sure you understand what information (i.e., location, your contacts, social networking profiles, etc.) the app would access and share before you download it. Download apps from trusted sources.
  • Back up your contacts, photos, videos and other mobile device data with another device or cloud service on a weekly basis.
  • When using a public or unsecured wireless connection, avoid using sites and apps that require personal information like log-ins.
  • Automatically connecting to networks can create vulnerabilities exploitable by hackers and others. Switch off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections when not in use.
  • Delete any online communications (i.e., texts, emails, social media posts) that look suspicious, even if you think you know the source.  
  • When banking or shopping online, use only trusted apps or websites that begin with https://.
  • The Golden Rule. Be respectful on your device. Treat others as you would like to be treated when texting, calling or using social networks.
  • Share with care. Be a true friend when taking and sharing photos and videos with your smartphone. Get permission from friends before you share them via text or social networks.
  • Be Web wise. Stay informed of the latest updates to your device and apps. Know what to do if something goes wrong. 

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