The world has gone mobile. Look no further
than the workplace – according to the latest figures, 94% of corporate workers
own a smartphone. This development has been liberating for employees and
companies alike, as these devices enable work on-the-go.
However, their rise has also introduced unique security issues. From unencrypted transmissions to unsecure devices, there are many risks to consider. Below, we’ll cover the basics of mobile security in the workplace. By the end, you’ll have the strategies you need to keep your company safe.
Lock Your Device
You’re riding home on the subway. Like every afternoon, it’s crowded with fellow commuters. Your stop is ahead, so you begin slinking your way towards the door. Along the way, though, a strange sensation creeps over your leg.
Upon getting off, you notice a sudden lightness in your right pocket – a pickpocket has snatched your phone. Tragically, you’re among the 28% of smartphone users that don’t lock their device. Now, they have access to your personal AND business data – oops.
Setting up a smartphone lock screen is a simple procedure. You can choose between several types of locks – PIN and pattern locks being the most common. To PIN lock a smartphone, select a four-digit code. Pattern locks are more complex, as you can create numerous different shapes on a nine-point pad.
Pattern locks aren’t foolproof, though. If you’re not careful, greasy fingers can leave the imprint of simple designs on your phone’s surface. For maximum security, get a fingerprint-activated screen lock. Without your biometric data, criminals cannot open your phone.
Use a VPN
For years, cybersecurity experts have
sounded the alarm over unsecured WiFi. Available in coffee shops, airport
terminals, and other public places, their lack of encryption attracts hackers.
Some camp in these locations all day, hoping to capture passwords, credit card
data, and other goodies.
However, during your business travels, jumping on WiFi may be unavoidable. If you must, turn on a VPN app first. VPNs – or Virtual Private Networks – provides encryption that prevents would-be hackers from intercepting your transmissions.
Of all the tools at your disposal, VPNs are among the best at keeping mobile data secure.
Update Software Regularly
Hackers – both white and black hats – are
constantly probing popular software applications. Their mission? To find ANY vulnerability they can. At the top of their list are operating systems. By
compromising your system’s DNA, a cybercriminal can do anything to your phone.
Your smartphone is just as vulnerable as your workstation. If you disable automatic software updates, you could miss crucial patches. In doing so, your work phone could fall victim to an attack. Are automatic updates activated on your device? If you aren’t sure, check into the situation.
For Android users: Go into Google Play. Once there, click on the menu button, then Settings. Scroll down until you find “Auto-Update Apps”. Tap it – if automatic updates are off, enable them.
On an Apple phone: Boot up the Settings app. Then, scroll down to the General section to ensure automatic iOS updates are on. After that, head the App Store section, and ensure auto-update is enabled for your apps.
Install A Password Manager
It’s not your age catching up with you –
passwords are hard to remember. By using a password manager, you can avoid asking
the IT department for a reset every two weeks.
Password managers take the ones you use and stores them in an encrypted folder. In return, you only need to remember one password. Better yet, password managers can generate super strong passwords to replace the insecure ones you already have.
Browsers like Google Chrome do come with integrated password managers. So, why use a third-party program? While browser managers appear safe, their password files are unencrypted. Thus, for maximum security, we suggest using a program like LastPass.
Have Remote Lock/Wipe Enabled
These days, having a locked smartphone isn’t enough. If a crook has skills, there are other ways they can crack your device. Therefore, you’ll want to establish an additional layer of security by installing a remote lock/wipe app on your phone/tablet.
This tool allows you to “hard lock” your device from another computer. That way, even if a criminal manages to figure out your pattern lock, they won’t be able to access your phone.
These apps also allow you to delete your device’s contents from afar. So, if you have “eyes-only” information on your smartphone, you can nuke it all with a single mouse click.
Back Up Your Devices Often
One visit to a compromised site is all it takes. Malware can strike at any time, so it always pays to have a fresh backup online. Google Drive offers this function for free – however, it only lasts 30 days before deletion. Should you choose to use this offering, back up your files often.
To maintain files online indefinitely with greater storage capacity, spring for a paid cloud backup service. The cheapest vendors offer coverage from $1.66/month, but shop around to get the best fit.
Protect Your Mobile Devices
Smartphones are not immune to the dangers of the internet. Every day, careless users compromise their devices. By taking steps to protect your phone, you can keep your personal and business info safe.