9 Top Tips: How to protect your mobile phone and tablet

Many of us use a mobile phone or tablet, but we may not know how to protect them from cyber criminals.

This article has been written by EMSOU and seeks to promote good cyber security among businesses and the public. If you require any further assistance or guidance please contact the EMSOU Protect Team or your local Force Protect Team.

It's not just your computer than can be vulnerable to cyber attacks - with mobile phones becoming an every day essential in peoples lives, they are being used more frequently to store personal and sensitive information.

Making them a easy target for a cyber criminal.

The East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) have created 9 tips on how you can keep your mobile and tablets more resilient from cyber criminals.

Tip 1: Use Authentication

Passwords, PINs, fingerprints or facial recognition where possible. This will prevent your device from being accessed if it is lost or stolen. Additionally, you should add a pin on your SIM card and voicemail, and ensure your device is set to automatically lock.

Tip 2: Install Antivirus Software

Recommendations can easily be easily researched online or from the manufacturer’s website.

Tip 3: Use Automatic Updates

To install new application and operating system updates as soon as they become available. Keeping devices up to date helps fix security vulnerabilities!

Tip 4: Stay Legit

Only install apps from the official device application store. Never 'jailbreak' your device to install pirated software. Not only will this fail to update properly, but it may contain malicious code.

Tip 5: Prevent Unauthorised Changes

Set the device to require a password before applications are installed. This will prevent unauthorised changes to your device from malicious actors or even well meaning loved ones.

Tip 6: Turn off Bluetooth

Only turn on Bluetooth when you need to use it to remain secure.

Tip 7: Be wary of Public Networks

Ensure your device does not automatically connect to new networks without your confirmation. Free Wi-Fi sounds awesome when you are out and about, but these networks are rarely secure and you may unintentionally expose sensitive data.

Criminals create spoof Wi-Fi connections (Man in the middle attack) to intercept transmissions. To connecting to secure sites when on the move use 4/5G through your network provider for peace of mind.

Tip 8: Record the International Mobile Equipment Identifier

(IMEI) of your handset. Your IMEI is a 15 or 17 digit number often found in the settings under general information about your device. If your device is lost or stolen, report this number to your provider and they can stop the handset from being used.

Tip 9: Enable Remote Locking

If your device supports them enabling remote locking and/or wiping functions will help protect you from all sort of potential attacks such as identity theft or fraud.

Further Information

The information stored on these devices are valuable to criminals and taking the steps above can make you more secure in the event of theft or loss. Also remember to:

  1. Back up your data regularly

  2. Do not save passwords or PINs as contacts on your phone or tablet.

  3. Enable device encryption.

  4. Thoroughly remove personal data from devices before selling or recycling it.


Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).

The contents of blog posts on this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. EMCRC provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us by email.


EMCRC does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this blog. EMCRC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.