The National Transportation Safety Board is making headlines, saying that it wants a nationwide ban on drivers using a cell phone while a vehicle is in motion. The organization says it’s a major cause of vehicular death and could be one of the key ways in which people can improve their safety while traveling.
There are several states across the United States that have bans on talking on a cell phone while driving, including New York. Those states have claimed that by implementing the policy, they’ve been able to increase road safety. Critics, however, say that it’s not nearly as bad as some think and enforcing the law, no matter how useful it might be at improving safety, is nearly impossible.
The fact is, driving while talking on a mobile phone is dangerous. But it’s not the only thing that people should never do with mobile devices. In fact, there is a wide range of activities that mobile device owners engage in each day that can cause them bodily harm orgreatly impact their privacy and security.
Read on to find out the top things that people should never do with their mobile devices:
1. Drive while talking
Let’s just get this out of the way: Driving and talking on a cell phone is dangerous. As numerous studies have shown, talking while driving can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Quite often, people who talk on the phone while driving will find that they sometimes forget where they are and what they’re doing. It’s a serious issue, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
2. Losing a smartphone without password protection
Too often, smartphone owners leave their devices in a public place without password-protecting them. So anyone can walk over to the handset, access its software, and start looking through emails, browsing history and more. All smartphones must be password-protected.
3. Access banking information
Although most banks now allow users to access their accounts from a smartphone via downloadable applications, it’s not always the best idea. Earlier this year, a survey showed that, in many cases, banking applications lack security features needed to make using them safe. It’s best to access banking sites at home.
4. Download applications from unknown sources
Android handset owners have gotten into trouble for downloading programs created by unreliable sources. Upon doing so, the applications installed malware on their devices, and all kinds of trouble ensued. Never download applications from unknown sources. Those who do typically find it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
5. Share personal information over unsecured networks
Since smartphones aren’t running Windows, many people believe that the operating systems on their devices are secure. But that’s not the case. What’s worse, because they can connect to any WiFi network, there’s no telling if data transmitted over that connection is secure. Therefore, it’s best to never share personal information over unsecured networks; it’s too easy for that data to be stolen and used against users.
Never Text While Driving, Forgo Security Practices
6. Text while driving
If mobile phone owners aren’t calling while driving,they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to text message others while driving. In the age of touch screens, texting while driving requires a person’s attention to be on the phone, so they can see which characters they’re pressing. And when doing so, they aren’t focusing on the road. That’s practically suicidal.
7. Forgo standard security practices readily followed on desktops
If someone were on a Windows PC, they wouldn’t click on a dangerous link from a social network and wouldn’t browse to unsafe sites. They also wouldn’t try to open emails from people they don’t know. Yet, because mobile operating systems are widely viewed as secure, they do just that on smartphones. They shouldn’t.
8. Access corporate email from unsecured networks
Earlier, we said users shouldn’t share personal information over unsecured networks. But it goes beyond that. Corporate email is accessible from mobile devices nowadays, and in many cases, it includes important enterprise data. Because of that, cyber-criminals are always spying on unsecured networks in an attempt to steal that data. Beware.
9. Share location information when away from home
With services like Foursquare and Facebook Places becoming quite popular this year, more and more people share their location information from their mobile devices. All too often, though, they end up telling people when they are not at home. If the wrong person sees that, those folks might come home to a ransacked house. Location services are great, but they shouldn’t be used so often.
10. Choose the wrong service plan
Too often, people get into service plans with carriers and pay too much. Some folks think they won’t use their smartphones nearly as much as they actually do and pay huge sums when they exceed plan limits. Other times, they think they’re going to use them more than they do and end up paying more than they would if they had a lesser plan.Carriers construct service plans to cost users money, but that doesn’t mean customers have to fall for the trap.