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Your mobile device can hold a lot of personal
information about you. So it’s important to know
how to prevent unwanted access to your mobile
device and associated accounts.
Quick tips for mobile safety
1. Know the basics
- Use private web browsing so 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 capitals and punctuation.
- 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 safe.
- Auto-lock your mobile device with a passcode.
2. 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:
- Turn off location services in your mobile device’s settings
- 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
3. 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.
4. Log out of accounts
If you’re automatically logged in to email, social media and other accounts on your mobile device, anyone can access those accounts if they use your mobile device. So always log out of accounts if you can, once you’ve finished using them.
For some accounts, such as email, you may prefer to remove the account from your mobile device, and access it through the browser instead.
5. Check for spyware
Spyware is software that can track all phone activity and can even be used as a listening device.
If you suspect your mobile device is being monitored, you can run an anti-spyware app or swap devices to a safe device – one that you are sure isn’t being monitored.
6. Use two-step log-in
Many websites and apps offer two-step log-in, or two-factor authentication, an extra security measure that asks for a security code that 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.
We recommend using two-step log-ins whenever they’re offered.
Other safety measures
Use flight mode
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 Broadband Protect
An easy way to help you and your family stay safe online on any device connected to your Telstra home broadband service.
Help and resources
Call 1800 RESPECT
Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to speak to an experienced professional from the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service – it’s confidential and available 24/7
Read more safety tips
Our Cyber Safety section has more tips on how to stay safe online and protect your privacy.
Visit the WESNET website
WESNET’s Safety Net Australia project helps victims of domestic violence respond effectively to the many ways technology impacts them.
eSafetyWomen is a full service offering for all Australian women – from those who are at risk, to frontline professionals, to women looking to safeguard their use of technology.