It looks like just about everybody these days has 1 or more mobile device.  That may be an exaggeration but, if so, it’s a really slight one.  So that also means we’re all carrying around more of the personal information we rely on, need access to and don’t want lost, infected or stolen.

But there are steps we can all take to protect against multiple problems.  Here are the top 10 I’ve read about recently:

1. Use more complicated passwords:  I wrote on September 3rd about how easy it is to change the 4 figure default password on an iPhone to a more complex password — longer and comprised of letters and figures.

2. Set an unlock code:  This is an extension of Tip #1.  You can configure your device to wipe all data if the password (or other code) is incorrectly entered 10 times in a row.

3. Regularly backup your data: Yes, this can seem like an unnecessary pain —until your data is lost.  And don’t forget to encrypt your backups.

4.  Vet apps before adding them: Yes, there are “app stores” we can use but take the extra step of reading about the app before you download it.  Read the user reviews since others might have, unfortunately, already discovered malware or other security risks in the app you’re considering.

5. Free apps:  Be very wary of these especially if you don’t find many user ratings or reviews.

6.  Geo-tagging: Learn more about it. Make sure you change your social networking privacy settings so that only the people you know, trust and want to see your photos actually can see them.

7. Privacy settings: Check your settings and preferences periodically.  Customize the settings as this gives you greater control over who sees your information, what’s done or not done with it and where it goes.

8. Secure link icons: Make sure to look for indicators that you’ve got a secure connection in the mobile browser and apps when you’re sending and/or receiving.  This can be a lock icon or a lock combined with https.

9.  Read the apps privacy/security FAQ: Legitimate apps will have a section (either a “frequently asked questions” or a specific policy section) describing what the company does to protect user’s privacy and personal information.

10. Public Wi-Fi hotspots: Make sure you’re intentionally, not unintentionally, connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. You can easily make sure your iPhone or iPad doesn’t automatically connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots.  Just go to “Settings” and move the “Ask to Join Networks” to ON.

Use any or all of these tips so you can feel even more secure when using your mobile devices in and out of the house.