With the use of mobile devices becoming more widespread, hackers have started to target the devices, largely because they can be fairly easy to hack. If you use a mobile device for work, you should take steps to secure it from both external and internal threats.
Here are five questions to ask to properly protect your devices.
1. What do I know about Wi-Fi hotspots?
With a tablet or phone it can be easy and tempting to check in with the office, write a few emails, or even do your finances on the go. This means connecting to the Internet, and because so many mobile plans limit the amount of data you can use, many of us try to use Wi-Fi as much as possible.
The thing is, many Wi-Fi hotspots found in airports, coffee shops, and public transport zones are “open.” This means that anyone with the tools and knowledge could gain access to devices connected to this network. Simply put: Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network or hotspot could put your data and device at risk.
To avoid this, limit the amount of important business oriented tasks you complete while connected to such networks. At the very least, you should not allow your device to connect automatically to open or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Set it to ask you to connect instead. By physically signing into networks or choosing what networks you connect to, you can somewhat control or at least limit security issues that stem from Wi-Fi connections.
2. Do I want a stranger to see what’s on my phone?
When using a smart phone or tablet, we like to think that whatever we are looking at can’t be physically seen by other people. While the devices are relatively small, many are large enough to allow strangers to see what we are doing, or even what we’re typing.
If you are sending or reading confidential info on your phone or tablet, or typing in PINs or passwords, check that someone isn’t looking over your shoulder. The best practice might be to read or access this type of information in private, where you can be sure you’re not exposing your private data.
3. Is my phone secure?
Security is a big issue, and you want to ensure that your information, files, and systems are secure from intrusions and threats. This means implementing measures to keep them so. However, few users pause to think about the security of their mobile devices.
Take for example Android’s marketplace, Google Play. While the vast majority of apps are legitimate, some are fake and contain malware that could harm your device. Hackers are increasingly targeting mobile devices by placing fake apps online, or putting malware on sites that will automatically be downloaded if users visit the page or click on a link. To combat this you can download a virus or malware scanner for your device and run it on a regular basis. When downloading apps be sure to verify the publisher and source of the app.
Securing your device with a password or pin makes it harder for third parties to gain access should they pick up a lost device or try to get in when you aren’t looking.
4. What info is stored on my phone?
Stop for a minute and think about the information you have stored on your device. Many users keep records of their passwords, important documents and even private information. Some devices are easy to hack, and we all know how easy they can be to lose. If you do lose your device, your valuable information could also be lost or stolen.
Take a look through your information and ensure that nothing incredibly important (and private) is stored on your device and if there is, back it up or remove it.
5. Is it necessary for apps to know my location?
Geo-location has become a popular feature of many apps. The truth is, many of these apps probably don’t need this information, instead requesting it to provide a slightly better service or more personalized experience.
However, this information about you and your phone could be stolen so you might want to think about limiting how much a third party can see about you. Both Android and Apple’s iOS have apps that allow you to select what programs are allowed to gather and send your location-based information to developers, with iOS actually allowing you to shut down location-based services from the Settings menu.
If you would like to learn more about mobile security, contact us today as we may have a solution that will work with your business.