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Protecting Mobile Devices

Smartphones are used as personal computers to store highly sensitive information. Often, we are under the false assumption that as long as our smartphone is in our possession, the data it carries is safe. Unfortunately, this is untrue, and data on your smartphone can be hacked into even while the device is in your possession.

The problem is worse when highly sensitive company data is stored on your employees’ smartphones. Losing this sensitive company data can lead to several complications and cost your employees their job. Educating your employees on what threats their smartphones are susceptible to and how to prevent them is the first step to prevent malicious attacks. Here’s how you and your employees can protect your mobile devices:

  1. Protect the data and not the device: Understand that it’s the information stored in the device and not the device that needs to be protected. True, smartphones are expensive, but the data stored in them is worth much more. A risk assessment will let you know where your data is stored and help you to focus on protecting those areas.
  2. Backup your data: This can be done easily and quickly. Once stored on the cloud, your data is safe and can be retrieved even if your device is lost or stolen.
  3. Encrypt data on smartphones: Keep your data, be it contacts information, emails, or company documents, safe, by encrypting the data on your smartphone. While encrypting data is standard in some devices, others require special applications. Our IT support in the London will be able to help you with this.
  4. Make use of fingerprint/passcode verification: This is a safety measure that prevents thieves from opening your smartphone.
  5. For maximum security, use mobile security software: As mentioned earlier, smartphones are now used as personal computers; they should, therefore, be treated the same way. Install security software such as Norton Mobile Security on your smartphone, just as you would on your computer, to prevent viruses, spam and malicious software from being downloaded.
  6. Make arrangements to wipe the data off your smartphones: Apple’s Find My Phone app and Android’s Device Manager allow you to erase all the data from your phone remotely in case it is stolen or lost.
  7. Manage your company’s smartphones: Software such as Mobile Device Management (MDM) will prevent your employees from installing apps on the smartphones and lets you roll out software and app updates centrally, regularly.
  8. Include smartphones in your IT policies: Have strict policies for smartphone usage included in your organisation’s security policy, so employees are aware of what is allowed and what is against company rules.
  9. Consider the risks associated with BYOD: ‘Bring Your Own Device’ is becoming a norm in an increasing number of companies. While there are advantages to the BYOD policy, sensitive company information can end up on your employees’ smartphones, making it difficult for you to ensure this data’s safety.
  10. Make sure Bluetooth is not turned on: Many of the new smartphones available today come with the Bluetooth feature switched on by default. When this feature is on, people nearby can pick up your smartphone’s Bluetooth signal and hook on to it. Make sure the Bluetooth feature is switched off when it is not needed. Another option is to enable the Bluetooth’s security functions, so strangers cannot connect to it.

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