A Guide to Tablet Security | NatWest

A Guide to
Tablet Security

How to keep your tablet secure
and why it’s important

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Since the first iPad was released in 2010, tablet computers have become hugely popular. That’s because you can use them for everything from banking on your tablet to watching movies, shopping and using social media.  

 

We’ve created this guide to help you do these things safely.  

 

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If you haven’t done so already, set a strong password for your device. It will make it harder for someone else to get access to your personal data if your tablet is lost or stolen.

 

Some tablets have ‘biometric’ scanners that allow you to use your fingerprint to log in, which is a great way to make devices even more secure. If your tablet has one, you’ll be able to use it to log into our Mobile Banking app too.

 

App available to Online Banking customers with a UK or international mobile number in specific countries

Tablet viruses

Tablet viruses – often known as malware (malicious software) – can install themselves on your tablet and send your personal data to fraudsters.  Tablet viruses can spread through things like email attachments, but there are things you can do to protect yourself.

 

Antivirus for Android tablets

Antivirus apps search for viruses and other malware and remove them from your Android tablet. It’s important to download an antivirus app and use it to scan your device regularly. Paid versions offer additional features, but there are plenty of free versions too. To find the best antivirus app for your needs search ‘antivirus’ or ‘antivirus for android’  in the Google Play Store and read the descriptions and reviews.

Protecting your iPad

Apple’s iPads work on a ‘closed platform’, meaning you can only download official apps - those that have been checked out by the team at Apple. This makes it harder for malware or viruses to install themselves on your iPad.

 

While you don’t need to scan your iPad in the same way as an Android tablet, there are some security apps available. For example, the Find My iPhone app lets you track down your lost iPad. Available from the App Store, you can download this app to suspend payments and erase any information from your device remotely if it’s been stolen to help protect your data.

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Update your tablet regularly

 

Whatever tablet you have it’s important to keep it updated. From time-to-time, you’ll be asked to download and install updates. These updates contain important security upgrades that make sure you’re not leaving your tablet open to online security risks.

 

Never tamper with your tablet

Android tablets can be ‘rooted’ and iPads ‘jailbroken’. This basically means modifying your tablet so that you can download and use unofficial apps. Don’t do this. Tampering with your tablet in this way can:

Weaken your tablet’s security

Official updates may not work as well, leaving your tablet – and your personal information – vulnerable to fraudsters.

Increase your risk of downloading an unofficial app.

Fraudsters can make apps that look just like your Mobile Banking app, but when you log in you could be giving over your details to a fraudster. 

The simple way to avoid these risks is to only ever visit official app stores, like Google Play, the Apple App Store or Amazon’s App Store.

 

Only stream and download from official sites

Tablets have large screens, making them ideal for watching movies and TV shows. But it’s important to only download or stream content from an official website or app, as the unofficial sites can contain malware.

Tablet email app security

Tablets have dedicated email apps, making it easy to sign in and reply. But fraudsters can try to trick you into giving up your personal information by sending you emails that are designed to look official – this is known as ‘phishing’. Take a look at this guide to learn how to spot and avoid phishing emails.

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