10 Tips to Help Teens Secure Their Mobile Devices

Article K-12
Teens Phones

As of October 2023, 95% of U.S. teens had access to a smartphone. It’s hard to come across a teenager without a phone glued to their hand. Youth today may be more tech-savvy than we were in the days of landlines, but do they understand how to properly secure their mobile devices?

Here are 10 tips that can be shared with your students and teens to help improve device security.

  1. Don’t leave your device unattended in public places. If you accidentally misplace your phone or leave it somewhere, it only takes a few minutes for someone to copy your data.
  2. Lock the device with a password or PIN. You don’t leave your car unlocked, so don’t leave your phone unlocked either.
  3. Use strong, unique passwords, facial recognition, or password managers.
  4. Install updates regularly. Most updates include patches that address identified vulnerabilities or gaps in security. Verify that your operating system and all applications are automatically updated.
  5. Use anti-virus software and be sure it is always up to date and running anytime you are online.
  6. Back up your data frequently. You should be able to easily back up the information on your mobile device to the cloud.
  7. Be cautious when downloading apps or files from unknown sources. Be selective and do your due diligence before installing. Utilize the official, trusted App stores as those applications have been vetted/approved. If you never use an app, uninstall it.
  8. Review and question required permissions for applications. Most applications should not require access to your call logs or camera.
  9. Turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC (Apply Pay, Google Pay, etc.) when you are not connecting to or using them. Avoid connection to public Wi-Fi networks as these are not secure.
  10. Beware of phishing and smishing (texting) scams. Don’t click suspicious or unknown links as this can lead to malware and viruses being downloaded to a mobile device.

Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can contain a significant amount of personal and sensitive information. It is important to treat phones like small computers and ensure the appropriate security controls have been implemented to prevent data compromise.

RELATED: Teaching Youth the Importance of Protecting Their Digital Footprint


About the Author
Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson


Manager, Operations Support

As the manager of Operations Support, Katie leads the team responsible for supporting and delivering CampusGuard services including online training, vulnerability scanning, and the CampusGuard Central® portal. With over 15 years of experience in information security awareness training, Katie is also the Product Lead for CampusGuard’s online training services. As a Senior Customer Relationship Manager for a limited number of customers, Katie assists organizations with their information security and compliance programs and is responsible for coordinating the various teams involved.