Tip of the Week: 7 Common Methods to Protect Your Smartphone
Those who believe that smartphones are secure from threats are in for a rude awakening. Modern businesses need to apply adequate security practices to maximize the protection of mobile devices, or risk everything.
If a hacker were to somehow access a corporate mobile device, they could potentially compromise sensitive information. Would your business be able to recover from such an attack? You want to keep this situation from happening in the first place, instead of just hoping it doesn’t happen. Here are some ways you can keep your business’s sensitive data away from those who might try to steal it from your smartphone.
Integrate a Lock Code
Naturally, the best way to keep strangers from accessing information on your phone is to set up a lock screen. There are a number of different lock screen options that you can select from, including entering a PIN number, dragging a specific pattern across the screen, and entering a full-fledged password. The type of authentication techniques available vary according to the device.
Try Data Encryption
Most of the time, you can encrypt your smartphone or tablet pretty easily. This means that the device’s data will be inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key, or password. This is a surefire way to make stealing your data more difficult than it’s worth to most amateur hackers.
Disable Website Tracking in Your Browser
Websites are known to collect information from you while you browse, and they use this information to deliver advertisements to you based on what you look at. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility to leak confidential information to the Internet. Your mobile browser should give you the Do Not Track option, which leaves it up to the website whether or not they will collect information from you. Most websites will listen to your preference, but this doesn’t always work.
If the Caller is Unknown, Don’t Answer the Call
We’ve all experienced the irritation of answering calls from unknown numbers and listening to automated messages. However, in the rare moment that there’s actually someone else on the other end of the line, they are probably one of two things: A cold-caller trying to sell you something you don’t need, or a hacker who’s trying to trick you. These hackers often pose as representatives from organizations (like banks, charities, etc) and try to convince you to give up information regarding your account. Naturally, it’s best to avoid answering the phone if you don’t know the identity of whoever is on the other end. Besides, if it’s really important, they’ll leave a message or callback information, which you can cross-reference with information you find on the Internet.
Use GPS Tracking to Locate Your Lost Device
Most modern smartphones, like those made by Android and Apple, come equipped with GPS tracking features that can be accessed online if you have misplaced your device. This can be helpful if someone has located your device, or if it’s simply inside the sofa. If someone has found it and hasn’t found a way to contact you, you can locate it with GPS. Problem solved. Although, it should be mentioned that the GPS tracking only really works if the device is turned on, so it’s not without its limits.
Keep Just Enough Contact Information in Your Device
Once in a blue moon, you’ll meet a genuinely good person who wants to return devices that they’ve found lying around. If this is the case, they won’t know how to return it to you if you don’t give them a way to do so. Often, a simple name and alternative telephone number will be enough to help them get ahold of you. It’s important to not leave too much information in the device, or you could risk giving hackers everything they need to steal your identity.
Keep Your Device within Arms-Reach
Finally, the easiest way to keep your device safe is to keep it on your person at all times (or at least within sight). This is especially important if you often work remotely from public places, like coffee shops, diners, etc. This is the best way to keep the common thief from gaining access to your device.
For those who don’t want to take any risks, a mobile device management solution from Protek is the most comprehensive solution out there to keep your business’s mobile device safe and secure. We can whitelist and blacklist applications to let only specific ones gain access to confidential corporate information, and we can even integrate content filtering and spam blocking to help your team stay as safe as possible, even while out of the office. Last but not least, we can remotely wipe devices in a worst-case scenario.
For more information about how Protek can keep your mobile devices secure from hackers, give us a call at (801) 999-4767.
Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.