Quick tips for mobile safety

Know the basics

  • Set your web browser to private or incognito mode so that pages you visit don’t appear in your history (note: if there is spyware on your phone, browsing is never secure).
  • Create a strong, easy-to-remember passphrase for each of your accounts, containing three or four words, some capital letters and punctuation.  Try not to use the same password/passphrase for all your accounts.
  • Don’t allow your device to remember passwords/passphrases or sign-in to accounts automatically, and keep log-in details to all of your accounts private and safe.
  • Auto-lock your mobile device with a passcode.

Minimise location sharing

Smartphones can track and may sometimes share your location without you even knowing it. To minimise location sharing we recommend that you:

  • Check the location services in your mobile device’s settings and know which apps are accessing your location.
  • Turn off geo-tagging for photos.
  • Control which apps can access your location.
  • Decline location access wherever possible when downloading new apps, unless you’re sure that the app needs to know your location for basic operation.

Increase your phone's security

  • If you have an Android, limit your phone’s ability to download apps or software outside of the Google Play store by turning off “Allow installation of apps from unknown sources” under Settings, Security.
  • Use two-step log in for your accounts. Two-step log-in, or two-factor authentication, provides an extra security measure that asks for a security code, which is sent to you via email or mobile. This means that if an unauthorised user tries to access your account, they won’t be able to, even if they know your username and password.

Keep social media private

Most sites and apps allow users to limit what others see. So regularly check the privacy settings on all your online accounts, especially social media.
 

And to stay safe, don’t share your location when posting, nor ‘over-share’ details about your identity, life or location.

Check for connected devices

Most smartphones have an email account associated with the phone. For iPhones, this is your Apple ID (iCloud). For Android phones, this can be your Google Account.  These accounts can be linked to multiple devices that could access your personal information. Check to see if other devices are connected to your account and remove unknown or unwanted devices.

Turn off and log out

  • Turn off Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth if you aren’t using it.
  • Log out of accounts when you are not using them – whether you logged in using the web browser on your mobile or through an app.
  • Close apps when you are not using them.

Block unwanted calls

It’s possible to block unwanted calls straight from your device.

For iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, you can block and manage phone numbers, contacts and emails. Here’s how to block phone numbers on your Apple device.  

For Android devices (other than Samsung devices), you can block and manage phone numbers by using ‘Phone by Google’ app which is installed in all Google Pixel phones and can be installed in other Android phones from Play Store.  

Here’s how to block a phone number on your Android device using the Phone by Google app: Block and unblock a phone number using Google Phone app

For Samsung phones, you can use your phone app for blocking unwanted calls. Here’s how to block and unblock phone numbers

Other safety measures

Signs you are being monitored

  • Does the person seem to know most of the things you do on your phone?

  • Does the person seem to know your location whenever you have your mobile device with you?

  • Does the person have access to your mobile device, social media accounts, bills or passwords?

  • Remember that there are many ways someone can monitor your phone activity, such as accessing your accounts or tracking your location with a GPS tracker.

If you think someone may be monitoring your mobile device, and you need to block them immediately, put your device in ‘flight mode’.

 

Limit your usage

If you think it is not safe to make changes to your device, then limit the amount of information you are sharing using your device and consider using public telephone boxes, a friend’s phone or computers at your local library instead. 

How we're using tech to help you

Safe Connections Program

We partner with the Women's Services Network (WESNET) to help women impacted by domestic violence stay safely connected.

Telstra Device Protect

Telstra Cyber Security Device Protect makes it easier than ever to protect your household devices online. Whether it’s managing your kids’ screen time or helping to keep your devices safe against hackers or protecting your ID, it has you covered.

Telstra Broadband Protect

An easy way to help you and your family stay safe online on any device connected to your Telstra home broadband service.

Unlisted Number

With an unlisted number, your home phone number and address won’t be published in the White Pages directories.

Help and resources

Call 1800 RESPECT

Cyber Security hub

WESNET’s Safety Net Australia

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