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Tip of the Week: 7 Ways to Secure Your Smartphone

b2ap3_thumbnail_security_for_smartphones_400.jpgSmartphones may have been some of the first Internet-connected mobile devices, but they are still as vulnerable to attack as ever. This is especially true for those who forsake any sort of mobile device security policy. With modern businesses utilizing mobile devices, it’s more important now than ever before to have solid security practices in place.

A hacker or worse can easily access the personal or company information located on a mobile device if you do nothing to keep them out. Thankfully, there are several methods you can use to keep unwanted eyes off of your mobile device’s data:

Lock Out Strangers with a Lock Code
This should be a given. Without a passcode on your phone, anyone with physical access to your device can obtain whatever is on it, be it personal information, company data, or even your family’s home address. This is not information you want to share with any potentially malicious entity, both in the virtual world or the material world.

Encrypt your Data
Most smartphones and tablets allow you to encrypt your entire device so your data can't be read if a user doesn't have a password. This makes it much harder for someone to steal and sell your information.

Prevent Websites from Tracking Your Browsing
When you are browsing a website, that website is collecting information from your device to provide you with advertisements based on your interest. While this works (sometimes), you probably don’t want to accidentally leak unwanted information about your person to the Internet. By selecting the Do Not Track option in your mobile device’s browsing settings, you are asking websites to not collect information from you. While this doesn’t always work, most websites will adhere to your preference.

Avoid Calls from Unknown Numbers
You might remember being called by anonymous numbers that you’ve never seen before and listening to automated messages from some company you don’t care about. These are a waste of time, and annoying. Even when there is someone on the other end, they are usually trying to sell you some meaningless service. Other times, they might have more malicious intentions. The stranger on the other end may be posing as a bank representative to steal sensitive information from you without you realizing it. In these cases, it’s better to not say anything, and in some cases, not answer the phone at all.

Find Lost Devices with GPS Tracking
If you have lost your device, there’s a good chance that nobody will find it… but there’s also a chance that someone will find it. What if that person were a hacker, or someone with less-than-pleasant motives? In this case, don’t forget that you can track your phone via GPS. Both Android and iOS offer services which can help you lock down your phone and even find it with GPS tracking.

Add Contact Information to Your Device
Unfortunately, locking down your phone won’t help a good samaritan who finds your phone and wants to return it to you. In case you are somehow unable to locate it with GPS, and your phone is found by a decent human being, you should include at least some information about how to return it to you. Just be careful not to leave too much information in it, or you might risk being the target of identity theft or worse.

Keep Your Device on Your Person
Obviously the best way to avoid any of these scenarios is to keep good track of your device. If you don’t lose your phone, the chances of someone else getting their hands on it are greatly diminished.

Try a Mobile Device Management Solution from White Mountain IT Services
These tips only really apply to physical threats, but virtual threats are just as deadly to your mobile device. White Mountain IT Services can help you whitelist and blacklist allowed applications on your company’s mobile devices, and even set you up with content filtering and spam blocking to keep your team from accessing infected sites or emails, even while mobile.

White Mountain IT Services can also equip your business with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution, which helps your mobile team always stay connected to a secure network. For more information about how to keep your company’s devices and data secure while on the move, give us a call at 603-889-0800.

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