Smartphones are now considered mainstream worldwide, and the amount of data on your smartphone may be more than you know, including a mix of personal and business information. While it’s useful to have all your material at your fingertips, it also leaves you open to potential mobile security threats. These five tips can help protect yourself and your organization from danger.
- Lock Your Screen: Do you have a screen lock on your mobile device? If not, put one on right away. If so, is it a strong, unique lock? Many organizations will require staff to have a passcode or screen lock on your mobile phones if they have access to work email. Also, it’s a good idea to have your phone automatically lock after a short period of time. This is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your device.
- Update: Are you on the latest version of the mobile device operating system? Software updates are important because they often include critical patches to security holes. In fact, many of the more harmful malware attacks we see take advantage of software vulnerabilities in common applications, like operating systems and browsers.
- Apps: Are you downloading apps from a trusted source? Always use your phone’s app store to download apps, not from a random website. A good indication that an app is legitimate is by only downloading apps that have been around for a while, with a large number of downloads. Also be sure to read the reviews on an app to make sure it has a majority of positive reviews.
- Privacy: Do you know which apps track your location? Many apps prompt you at download to share your location, or enable the location by default. While some apps may be useful for location tracking, most apps like games and photos don’t need to track your every move. Some location based apps will even turn around and sell that information to data-hungry third parties. Check in your settings on which apps use your location and turn off the ones you don’t need.
- Disposal: What do you do with your old devices after you buy a new one? Before you give it to a friend, sell it online, or donate, make sure you back up your phone first and then reset your phone to factory settings. Even if you just throw your old phone in a drawer, don’t leave any of your information on the device.