Tips to keep hackers out of your phone

Q: What can I do to make my phone more secure?

A: The security of some apps is out of your hands as a phone owner, but there are some tips you can follow for overall protection.

Andrew Hoog, CEO and co-founder of Oak Park, Ill.-based mobile security company NowSecure, said there are four key defense tactics.

▪ Update your operating system. Many of those upgrades fix security issues. “There are a lot of flaws out there, and if you don’t update your device, you can’t be protected,” Hoog said.

▪ Enable a passcode and touch identification. Android users should choose to encrypt their devices.

▪ Be wary of what apps you download. “Your phone is always on, and they’re usually only a few feet away from you,” Hoog said. “GPS data gets leaked out a lot, so you have to think a lot about the apps you’ve installed and what do they know about you.” If you’re not using an app, delete it, and make sure to keep apps updated.

▪ Avoid open Wi-Fi networks. Hackers connected to an unencrypted network can see the data being passed around, including passwords.