Your smartphone is a direct portal to your identity and your life. Your device is likely to hold more personal information about you, your family, friends and work than you would store in your home or office. You must protect it.

Why your mobile device must be secure

Your smartphone or tablet connects you to the internet so that you can carry out daily tasks from wherever you are.  Your device is a key to access the information about yourself that you store online. That includes online banking passwords, credit card details, personal and work connections, photos and videos and everything that identifies you, as you.

Getting access to this information is a lucrative business for cyber criminals. If they can find a weak spot they could:

Even if your mobile device is lost or stolen, and you haven’t backed up or secured your data, you could lose:

  • treasured photos and videos
  • all of your personal and work contacts’ details.

How to secure your mobile device

Set up your mobile device, your social media and other applications (or apps) so that it is tough for even the most trusted person in your life to access it.

Set up device locking mechanisms

Set up a password, PIN, passcode or fingerprint pattern to unlock your mobile device.  You’ll need to set up a PIN to unlock your SIM card too as it is removable and its use is what your internet provider will bill you for, so you need to protect it. Check your device’s security settings and select automatic locking to make sure your phone locks itself after a defined period of time.

Keep software up to date and backup data

Set up automatic updates for applications and operating systems, so that your device is always up to date with the latest security features. Install virus protection software to protect you from malware. Always backup irreplaceable data such as photos or emails through reputable and secure Cloud storage solutions. ‘Cloud’ storage means you can get access to your information at any time through the internet. So if your mobile device is no longer in your possession, you can still access your data via the internet.

Stay invisible

When you’re not using Bluetooth, turn it off. Ignore offers of free (usually unsecured) public Wi-Fi access and ensure your mobile device is set up to only connect to secure networks you have approved. Get into the habit of regularly deleting your internet browsing history on your mobile device and closing multiple browsing tabs.

Lock out dishonest users remotely

Check if your mobile device supports remote locking or wiping functions.  Provided that you regularly backup your data, if you lose your mobile device or it has been stolen, you can lock it remotely, or choose to completely wipe the data. If you don’t have these options, record the International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) of your handset. Ask your product retailer where to find this number. If your device is lost or stolen, you can report the IMEI number to your billing provider and they can block your device remotely.

Develop secure mobile device habits

Get into the habit of the following behaviours to keep your mobile device secure:

  • Log out of websites, such as your online banking account, when you’ve finished using them.
  • Close multiple internet browsing tabs.
  • Only download apps from trusted online stores such as Google Play or the iTunes Store.
  • Review the privacy permissions carefully before you install a new app on your mobile device.
  • Never store passwords anywhere other than through a reputable password keeper app downloaded from Google Play or iTunes Store.
  • Don’t use a jailbroken /rooted device. This refers to an iOS/Android device which has bypassed the security settings in order to remove software restrictions (usually in order to install software not approved by the App Store or Google Play).  This significantly decreases the security of the device.

Set up device locking mechanisms

Set up a password, PIN, passcode or fingerprint pattern to unlock your mobile device. You’ll need to set up a PIN to unlock your SIM card too as it is removable and its use is what your internet provider will bill you for, so you need to protect it. Check your device’s security settings and select automatic locking to make sure your phone locks itself after a defined period of time.

Learn how to set up biometrics (such as Face-ID or a fingerprint) and a four-digit passcode so you can log into the NAB app and authorise payments simply and securely.

What to do if someone gains unauthorised access to your mobile device

If your mobile device is lost, stolen or has been hacked (that is, someone has gained unauthorised access to your device and your data), there are ways to protect your identity and data:

  • If you’re sure you can’t recover your mobile device and you’ve set up your remote locking or data wiping functions, activate these functions.
  • Contact your telephone service provider immediately to report loss, theft or compromise of your mobile device. They will be able to block your service using your IMEI, or bar the service from using their network and then advise you of next steps.

If you’re concerned your identity may be at risk, check out How to keep your identity safe online for advice on where to go for help.

Helpful resources

How we can help

If you’re a NAB customer and you believe your business or personal accounts have been impacted by fraud or a scam, we’re here to help. Explore the immediate steps you can take to protect yourself and discover when you should get in touch with us to make a report.

Learn what to do in the event of fraud or scams

Get updates on the latest fraud alerts


IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand's not-for-profit counselling and support service set up to assist Australians impacted by identity theft and cyber-related crimes.

IDCARE can assist NAB customers to navigate through the process when identity details or credentials have been compromised through fraud or scams. IDCARE is a free service for all Australians.

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Australian Government | Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) brings cyber security capabilities from across the Australian Government together in a single location. It’s the hub for private and public sector collaboration and information sharing to combat cyber security threats. ACSC provides topical, relevant and timely information on how home internet users and small businesses can protect themselves from, and reduce the risk of, cyber security threats such as software vulnerabilities, online scams, malicious activities and risky online behaviours.

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Australian Government | ReportCyber

ReportCyber is a secure reporting and referral service for cybercrime and online incidents which may be in breach of Australian law. The ReportCyber website provides a cybercrime reporting mechanism as well as helpful information about cybercrime.

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Australian Competition and Consumer Commission | Scamwatch

Scamwatch provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams using publications, videos and other online resources.

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Australian Government | Office of the eSafety Commissioner

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner provides online safety education for Australian children and young people, a complaints service for young Australians who experience serious cyberbullying, and address illegal online content.

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Australian Government | Attorney-General’s Department

The Attorney-General’s Department website provides helpful information and resources about your rights and protections in regards to identity security, freedom of information and cyber security. The Department has developed a range of resources to assist people protect their identity and recover from the effects of identity crime.

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