Best Practices for Mobile Device and App Security

Photo of a person holding a smartphone with an illustration of a network of icons representing cloud storage, email, laptop and mobile security icons.

Our digital devices and mobile apps provide us with the convenience of managing many of our daily tasks when on the go – whether it’s conducting financial transactions, shopping online, purchasing a coffee, or more. And although smartphones and apps provide their own security features to provide users with a more secure experience, there are a few simple things that we can do when using phones and apps to further protect ourselves and our personal information. Here are some tips on increasing your security on your device and when using mobile apps:

How to Improve Mobile Device Security:

  • Use biometric security features (face/fingerprint ID), passcodes and screen lock timers whenever possible to secure your device.
  • Keep your mobile device’s software, firmware and system patches up-to-date.
  • Avoid clicking on links or downloads from unknown sources.
  • Only install apps from legitimate app stores (like the App Store and Google Play).
  • Carefully read reviews and information about the app developers before downloading an app to determine credibility.
  • Consider installing mobile malware protection software.
  • Avoid connecting to unknown/unsecure wireless networks on your mobile device.
  • Turn off or limit geolocation for apps that don’t require them.
  • Keep in mind that “jail-breaking,” or intentionally removing software restrictions and/or security features from your mobile device, increases its risk of compromise by hackers/scammers.

How to Improve Mobile App Security:

  • Be on alert for any suspicious activity or requests you receive. Scammers are constantly finding new ways to trick you into revealing your personal or account information: Social Engineering: Any attempt to get a user to divulge personal information to be used for fraudulent purposes. Some common examples of social engineering include:
      1. Phishing: Scams conducted via email or text
      2. Vishing: Scams conducted over the phone
  • Don’t respond to any unsolicited access code requests. An example of an access code request is entering your username and password to log into your account, and then being prompted to enter a six-digit numeric code sent to you. If you receive a code without attempting to log into your account, this might be part of a phishing scam.
  • Never provide your access code(s) to anyone.
  • If you believe you are the victim of a social engineering scam and there is the possibility that your account(s) may be compromised, please contact Hawaii State FCU immediately.
  • Consider changing your username and password periodically and use strong passwords.
  • Avoid using the same username and password for all online accounts.
  • When creating a password, use complex and unique passwords consisting of at least 12 or more characters, and include special characters (like !, @, or ?, etc.)

Maintaining vigilance when using apps or your smartphone ensures a safer, more secure digital experience for everyone.


Best practices and tips provided by NCR.

About HSFCU Marketing

Hawaii State FCU firmly believes that financial education empowers people to make smarter decisions throughout their lives, resulting in a better financial future. We do this by providing useful financial tools such as educational blogs, online courses and free webinars on a variety of topics including planning for retirement, debt management and buying a home. For more information on these and other resources, including free financial calculators and budget-friendly recipes, visit and click on “Financial Health.”

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