January 28 has been designated Data Privacy Day and there are good reasons we need this reminder. Even as millions of new mobile device users enter the market every day, security often takes a backseat to convenience. If the rise of news reports of breaches and hacks teach us anything, it’s that security and privacy are more important than ever.

Lock All of Your Devices

Most people don’t take advantage of this feature, though it comes standard with every mobile device and PC. By setting up a lock code or password, you can prevent others from accessing your personal information in the event your device gets lost or is stolen.

Update Your Devices

This is another area in which people become lax. Cell phone manufacturers, like other computer companies, release frequent updates to their devices. By installing these devices, you’re provided with greater protection through security updates and software improvements.

Be Wary of Sharing Sensitive Data

Banking apps and tax filing apps can make our lives more convenient, but, when used over an unsecured connection, it can open users up to identity theft. You never know when a cyber criminal is targeting you, so be especially watchful for unusual activity with your accounts. Many companies that offer cell phone repair services also offer identity theft protection, which may be a service worth the added cost.

Autofill and Cookies Can Leave You Vulnerable

Enabling autofill makes it more convenient to fill out forms, especially on websites you frequently visit. Unfortunately, this means storing your information on the website, where it’s more vulnerable. Instead, disable cookies and install a secure password manager. You maintain the convenience, while beefing up your personal security.

Protect Yourself in the Event of a Lost or Stolen Device

By enabling phone location settings, you can easily locate a lost phone. Combining that feature with remote wiping helps you locate your phone and wipe all of your personal information from the device. This keeps others from accessing secure data and targeting you for identity theft.

Monitor Location Services

Many apps automatically turn on location services in your phone. In addition to draining your battery, this can violate your privacy by recording your movements in the individual apps. Keeping this feature disabled lets you control when your location is tracked and by which apps.

As our smartphones become more vital to our daily lives, it’s important to be vigilant in securing them from monitoring and attack. By staying up to date in security and privacy advances, you can take advantage of the best options for protecting yourself. Keeping your devices secure and updated ensures you will be able to enjoy the benefits of technology without fearing the risks of hacking and breaches that destroy so many lives.