4 tips to help secure your phone

We’ve heard a lot of news lately about how smartphones are the new frontier for hackers, virus writers, and cybercriminals. We talked to the folks on the Windows Phone 7 team and they haven’t heard any complaints about mobile viruses yet, but we thought it wouldn’t hurt to give you four ways that you can help secure any smartphone, not just a Windows Phone.

You’ll notice that this advice isn’t much different than what we’d recommend to help you secure your laptop or your desktop computer.

1. Protect your phone with a password. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can go a long way toward protecting your information if you’ve secured it with a password or a Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you use your phone to access your company’s email or intranet, chances are that they already require that you protect it with a password or PIN. To learn how to protect your Windows 7 phone with a password, see Lock screen FAQ.


For more information on how to choose a good password, see Create strong passwords.

2. Be careful when you install apps on your phone. Apps can do nearly everything these days, from streamlining your social networking to changing the channels on your TV. No matter what kind of phone you have, install apps from a trusted source. For Windows Phone, you can only install apps from the Zune Marketplace. This means that they have been digitally signed, which reduces your risk. (This is the same model used with Apple’s iPhone, but not with Google’s Android phone.)

3. Install your phone’s updates. Just like on your PC, you should install all updates for your phone and for the apps on your phone. To learn how to do this with a Windows Phone, see Windows Phone Update Solution.

4. Make sure your smartphone has a feature that helps you find it if you lose it or if it is stolen. Windows 7 includes a “Find My Phone” feature that allows you to find a lost phone, lock it remotely, and also wipe it remotely so that no one can get access to the information there. For more information, see Find a lost phone. If you don’t have a Windows Phone, you can usually install a third-party app that can do this for you.


To get more information about security and privacy for Windows Phone, see:



About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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  1. Anonymous

    I want to file a complaint against whoever is posting my videos and pictures on the internet! They have no right to broadcast my private  information and track my phone records! I plan to pursue this matter in acourt of law, they have damaged my reputation, harassed me and this company has not done anything aboutit after I have sent several emails!    

  2. Anonymous

    I love you guys and gals.  Your phone security information hits the spot (a reference to either my stomach or my soul) like an extremely cold COKE!  Good job.  

  3. Anonymous

    Your very first suggestion is great. Except that when when your phone is locked, emergency personal, Police, EMS, and hospital personal can not excess your emergency contact. This information which they know to look for on a persons cell phone listed as ICE.  This information is stored on a cell phone's contact or phone number list as "ICE," which stands for "In Case of Emergency."  Again this is where they know to look and find who to call in the emergency and their contact information.

    It would be nice if the cell phone companies and the companies that make the phones would add this feature to the phone when locked.  I know that when a cell phone is locked the ability to call 911 is still available from it.  Like stated before when a phone is locked the ICE information should also be available for emergency personal.

    This feature would also resolve part of your fourth suggestion, because the ICE feature would still be available to the person who is honest enough to want to return the lost phone.

    Hope to see this feature added in the near future to all cell phones.

  4. Anonymous

    I have a Windows Mobile Phone 6.5  smartphone. It would be nice if you could post tips for us legacy users as well – there are still a lot of us out there.

    Regarding Cockroach's post, I don't know about Win 7 phones, but my phone has a feature that enables me to display user information whenever the phone is powered on, either from "sleep" mode, or when it is turned on, even if the phone is locked. I can customize the information that appears, and made it a point to include my ICE information on that screen (not my home address, but ICE phone contact information, and my work phone number). Assuming that Windows 7 phones have a similar capability, that should satisfy his needs (and anyone elses).

  5. Anonymous

    I love Cockroach's comment.

    This feature is a wonderful idea.

  6. Anonymous

    I agree with Cockroach this must be simple to set up and would be a great advert for the first phone company to put this on a phone

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