Keep your devices safe
If someone got hold of your device and passcode, they might be able to access more than you’d think – like card details, banking apps, personal information, messages and photos. Criminals can use these to:
- Steal your identity
- Spend your money using saved card details
- Learn about your habits, hobbies and life events, then use them to approach you for a scam
- Blackmail you.
Follow our tips to help keep your device secure and protect your personal data.
- Never use passwords or codes that are simple and easy to guess. Our guide to stronger passwords explains how to make them more difficult for criminals to crack
- Whenever you create a password for an app, make it completely different from the one that unlocks your device. That way, if someone gets in, they won’t have access to everything
- Use a password manager to safely store your passwords so you don’t have to remember them all. Make sure you choose a strong and memorable password for the password manager
- Use your fingerprint or face to unlock your device and open apps wherever possible
- Clean your screen regularly so fingerprints and marks don’t give away any passwords or codes.
- Regularly back up the files on your device so they can be restored if anything happens
- Before you get rid of a device, log out of all your accounts, then erase all data from the device
- When you stop using a device, remove it from any ‘trusted device’ lists in your apps and online accounts. You’ll need to change the settings for each account separately.
- Only download apps from a trusted source, like your device’s app store
- Use an anti-virus to protect your device from malicious software hidden in apps, websites and emails.
- Turn on auto-update to make sure your device always has the latest security updates
- Make sure you update the operating system as well as your apps.
What to do if your device is lost or stolen
To help protect your money, take these steps as soon as possible:
2. Tell your mobile phone provider so they can make sure you aren’t charged for any data or calls
3. If your phone was stolen, report it to the police online or by calling 101.
If you have access to another device, take these extra steps to help protect your data:
2. Remove your lost or stolen device from any ‘trusted devices’ lists
3. Remotely sign out of any social media or other online accounts