When you’re buying
Ask your retailer how long the device will continue to get security updates for. If you buy an older device, you might find that it won’t get security updates for much longer, leaving it vulnerable to any new security issues that come up. If that’s the case, you may want to consider a newer version of the device instead.
If you’re buying a replacement device, before you get rid of the old one, make sure you:
- back up the files on your old device
- do a factory reset
- check the data has been removed.
Ditch your older device
Before you start using a new device
- Install any outstanding updates for the operating system. It might have been sitting on the shelf for a while.
- Set the system preferences to update automatically. The software updates fix any known security holes in the software you’re using.
- Set a good password or passphrase on the device. As with all passwords, don’t use personal information like your family’s date of birth, address or pet’s name.
- Install an antivirus on your computer or laptop and keep it up to date.
How to create a good password
Getting into good habits
When you get a new device, get into some good habits while you’re using it too.
- Set your screen to lock automatically when you’re not using the device. Unlock it with:
- a longer password or pin number
- a fingerprint, or
- facial recognition.
- Enable Bluetooth and WiFi only when you need it. If you’re using open or public WiFi, limit the information you share while using it.
- Only download software from legitimate app stores and trusted websites.
- Uninstall any old software or apps you don’t use or need anymore.
- Install an ad blocker on your browser. It can help prevent you clicking on any dodgy ads.
- When downloading applications, think about the permissions it needs. If you’re downloading a calculator app, there should be no reason for it to have access to your messages or camera.
See our top tips for cyber security