mobile device
As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month, here are tips to secure your mobile devices. (Photo: iStock)

With their increased functionality, mobile devices help people around the world carry out day-to-day activities such as surfing the web, booking appointments, sharing files and online banking.

While these devices add a level of convenience to our lives, they have also created new opportunities for cybercriminals. Some of these security threats include malware, unauthorized access, and phishing.

Here are seven cyber savvy tips to make your devices more secure.

1. Use Strong, Unique Passwords

Avoid common words or passwords that are easy to guess, like "password" or "123456." Instead, use unique, complex passwords made up of letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, you should never write down your passwords; consider using a password manager app to store your passwords securely.

2. Use two-step authentication

Two-factor authentication — such as a one-time code sent to your cellphone — can keep cybercriminals out of your accounts. If your apps offer two-factor authentication, use it.

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3. Check your device settings

Your devices come with default privacy and security settings. Always check them to make sure that they are offering you the maximum protection.

4. Install an antivirus

The files you download and the apps you install on your devices might be packed with malicious code. Once launched, this code could send your data to hackers. To avoid that, installing a reputable antivirus application helps to improve your protection.

5. Only download trusted apps

A new app might look great, but it can be difficult to know how private and secure it may be. Always download apps from a trusted source like iTunes or Google Play.

6. Lock your devices when they are not in use

Always make sure to lock your devices when they are not in use and for mobile devices consider using fingerprint/face scan to unlock them. Doing so will prevent anyone from using your account to access your private information.

7. Be vigilant when using public Wi-Fi

When connected to a public Wi-Fi network, it is possible that anyone using the same network could "eavesdrop" on your online activity, steal your account information, access files on your computer, or infect your device with malware. It's best to avoid shopping online, transmitting or accessing any sensitive information when on public Wi-Fi.

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