News

UScellular provides tips to keep cellphones secure for Internet Safety Month

June marks Internet Safety Month, an important time for people to assess their online safety as cellphone use has increased in everyday life. With nearly 7 billion smartphone users across the world and mobile devices accounting for nearly 60 percent of online traffic, fraudsters can take advantage of the public’s reliance on constant connectivity.

According to RSA Security, more than 60  percent of fraud originated from cellphones and it’s estimated that Americans lost around $39.5 billion to phone scams in 2022 alone.

“Smartphones are an important aspect of everyday life for Americans but so is online safety,” said Brandi McCune, director of sales and operations for UScellular in New England. “There are many ways for people to safely use their smartphones and mitigate the risk of interacting with dangerous fraudsters. By exercising caution while on your phone, you can protect yourself from an unfortunate situation.”

UScellular offers the following tips to help reduce exposure to mobile security threats. 

●      Be wary of public Wi-Fi networks: When consumers use a Wi-Fi network that is open to the public, their phone can be an easy target for cybercriminals. Instead of connecting to public hotspots, try joining a secure network from a trusted network operator or mobile wireless connection to minimize the risk of exposure, especially when personal or sensitive information is accessed. 

●      Support the safety of vulnerable family members: With more children online than ever before, it’s important for parents to know their child is protected. UScellular and Screen Sanity offer a Parent-Child Agreement that helps establish digital boundaries for families as they better understand how to be safe when using technology in their everyday life. Apps such as Bark can also work in tandem to help parents ensure the safety of their children’s online activity.

●      Install apps from trusted sources: Before an app is downloaded, be sure to conduct research to ensure it is legitimate and trustworthy. Some ways to check an app’s legitimacy is by reading reviews and confirming the app store’s origin.

●      Lock it up: The most secure way to lock a smartphone is to use a strong password and biometric authentication process. Android and iOS users can set or change their screen lock preferences on their phone to secure their devices.

●      Online privacy apps: DuckDuckGo, ExpressVPN, LastPass, ProtonMail and Signal are Android and iOS apps that can help consumers protect their online privacy. 

●      Update your smartphone’s software: Reduce the risk of cyber threats by keeping your operating systems up-to-date. A device’s operating system should be updated regularly by enabling automatic updates or accepting them when prompted from a service provider.
 

UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. Through its After School Access Project, the company has donated more than $23 million in hotspots and service to help youth connect to reliable internet. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, visit newsroom.uscellular.com.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.