Is your smartphone as well-secured as you think it is?

Smiling young girl relaxing in bedYour smartphone has a ton of data about you stored on it.

Your employees’ smartphones have a ton of data about your business stored on them.

Do you know what steps, in addition to locking phones, should be taken to keep that data private and secured?

Here are important tips to follow. Because it matters! There are a lot of areas on those phones that could be unsecured and lead to a leak. Let’s cover them by different areas of the phone technologies, starting with the devices and drilling down from there.

Device

  1. Do you know what you would do if a phone were lost or stolen? Do you have a way to remotely lock it or delete data stored on it?
  2. Are options for locking the screen used? Are they secure enough?
  3. Have you activated the device’s remote wipe function?
  4. Do you have apps installed that could remote wipe data?
  5. Do you have a locator app installed?

Network

  1. Never connect to public hotspots without also using VPN.
  2. Be aware that sniffer apps can monitor network data on public hotspots and grab usernames, passwords, emails and more.
  3. Don’t automatically connect to unsecured Wi-Fi.

Communications

  1. Be aware that phishing scams can be sent through SMS, chat, email or calls to your phone.
  2. Don’t respond to unknown senders.
  3. Don’t give out sensitive information over the phone.
  4. Never click on unknown links.
  5. Log out of email accounts.
  6. Never save passwords on apps.

Storage

  1. Regularly back up data on the phone, whether it’s files, pictures, videos, or others.
  2. Check on that backed up data regularly to make sure it’s accessible and valid.

Internet/Browser

  1. Clear cache and cookies on the phone to prevent targeted ads from personal data stored in the browsers.
  2. Use private browsing and/or “do not track” settings when possible.
  3. Be careful when shopping online and only use the trusted shopping site of the official app of the store. Spoofed mobile shopping sites can lead to stolen data.

Apps

  1. Avoid using free apps that typically include adware which tracks user data.
  2. Never download apps from outside of the official app stores.
  3. Install a reputable security app to scan new apps before installing.
  4. Check permissions granted on apps and disable tracking features where possible.
  5. Beware of spoofing apps that look like popular games but steal data when installed.

Social Media

  1. Be cautious about the pictures shared online.
  2. Keep accounts private.
  3. Be careful about sharing too much information such as when you’re going out of town for an extended period or personal information such as your address.
  4. Check privacy settings routinely as they will change without notification.
  5. Disallow or don’t play games that automatically post as you on your social media feed.

Yes, this seems like A LOT, but your phone can do a lot. Your employees’ phones, too. In our hyper-connected world, we need to be hyper-vigilant with our personal and business data. Cyber criminals look for any angle they can work. By taking each step or being aware of each best practice above, you can feel better protected against threats. This list would also make a great outline for a training program with your employees. Remember that with all of the software we could install, nothing can stop the misinformed employee clicking on a bad link.

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