Five essential steps to improve your mobile cyber hygiene

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Practicing good cyber hygiene is a critical part of staying safe online and protecting yourself from threats such as malware, phishing, viruses and data loss – and it doesn’t just apply to your desktop or laptop. Our phones hold a vast amount of our personal and professional data, so it’s vital that cyber hygiene practices extend to these devices.

Improve your overall mobile security in five easy steps:

1: Get a checkup 
Before you set up your hygiene regimen, see whether your details have been compromised already. Websites such as and let you know whether hackers have recently exposed your email password online (it’s more likely than you think), which will give you the necessary impetus to get on with steps two through five as quickly as possible. 

2: PINs and passwords
Your phone PIN is your first line of defense against a potential theft. Avoid using the same four-digit code for every other account in your life and be sure the sequences you use for work and home devices are different. The same goes for passwords; just because you’re using a mobile device, that doesn’t make them any less important. Make sure to protect apps with sensitive data, such as your banking apps, with passwords that are unique and use a combination of numbers, symbols and letters.

3: Digital spring clean 
Take stock of your application inventory and spend some time deleting apps you no longer use. You would be surprised by how many apps store some kind of personal data, and you can reduce the risk of being compromised by culling them (and you can always download it again if you need it in the future). Whether it’s the gaming app you downloaded years ago for your long commute, or an old bank app you no longer use, be sure to make a note of which apps have access to sensitive or important personal data.

4: Set up your defenses 
Antivirus software such as ESET Mobile Security secures your device against cybersecurity issues, including spyware, trojans and malicious apps. The latest version of ESET Mobile Security goes one step further to secure your financial and banking transactions with a Payment Protection feature.

5: Stay up to date 
Always keep your software updated to protect against vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers, including both your operating system and individual applications. Keeping your technology updated and current is one of the easiest ways to stay safe online, as bad actors will often target users who use vulnerable, outdated software.

The key to cyber hygiene is being proactive, so if you’ve gotten this far, you’re already in good stead!