Mobile devices such as tablets and phones are by far the easiest devices to steal due to their size.  Considering almost every business user will do at least some degree of their work on their mobile or tablet we should treat the security of these devices just as highly as the security of our traditional computers such as desktops and laptops.

Here is a list of 6 recommendations for tablet & phone security.

 

1. Login Security

Although it can be a pain having to type in a PIN number or Swipe code every time you want to use your phone it will make it impossible for most hackers to access your data.  This is the most basic but one of the strongest steps you can take in mobile security.  Remember to not use dates like your year of birth or other easily known information.

Alternatively you can set up the facial or fingerprint recognition option which can make it a little faster to login but we strongly recommend against this as it means you are sharing your Biometric data with the makers of your devices.

 

2. Update your Operating System

Whether you are using a mobile phone or tablet, installing the latest security updates is a vital part of helping to keep your device safe.  Android & iOS release these updates at regular intervals and you should watch out for them as they contain critically important updates to help keep your device protected. 

The implementation of the updates are generally quite fast but will sometimes mean being without the device for a short period of time while the updates are installed so it’s best to do it after working hours.  

If your updates are no longer available due to the age of your device then it is a good idea to start thinking about an upgrade as it means your device is more vulnerable to security breaches.

 

3. Find when Stolen

If you have an Android phone then tracking it if it gets stolen may be more simple than you first think.  You will most likely have a Gmail account linked to your phone so log into your Gmail account on another device such as a laptop and then go to www.android.com/find  You will be shown a map of your phone’s location and have the ability to begin the immediate destruction of the data.  Depending on your phone and how it’s set up you may have other options such as to sign out of your Google account or if you have just misplaced your phone and can’t lay your eyes on it you can force it to start ringing.

The process for Apple iPhones & iPads is very similar as long as you have the “Find my iPhone” & “Send Last Location” settings turned on.  Just sign into another Apple device or PC  with your Apple account details and go to iCloud.com/find to locate your missing device.

 

4. Regularly Update Your Apps

Many people think that the apps on their mobile devices automatically update and it’s true sometimes they do, but this may take a while to happen or may not happen at all unless you do it manually.  

These updates are just as important as the updates on your Windows/iOS PCs.  When the developers become aware of security flaws or just want to add or remove new features to their software they release “Patches”.  If you don’t install these Patches then you are leaving holes in the security of your device and making it easier to be hacked.

 

5. Use Mobile Data Instead of Public Hotspots

You should be extra vigilant when connecting to public Wi-Fi Hotspots such as in restaurants, airports, hospitals etc.  When you connect to one of these Hotspots your data is not encrypted to make it easier for customers to join their network without any hassle.

Because the data is unencrypted a Hacker with the right knowledge can intercept the names of certain websites you visit, see which pictures are on that site and potentially steal your login details for those sites.  If you really must use a public Hotspot then only use sites beginning with HTTPS. The S stands for secure and shows the website will encrypt your data even if on a Hotspot.  Do not visit websites that do not have this S at the beginning.

To be safe we advise you to use your mobile data instead or use a VPN.  You can ask us for help with setting up a VPN if required.

 

6. Use Privacy Browsers

Companies have many reasons for using cookies and not all of them are bad, but your data can be sold on to other organisations who you have no connection with and know nothing about.  When all these little pieces of information are gathered together they build up a detailed profile of you and in worst case examples can be used to hack into your online accounts including your Banking and Social Media accounts.  

Using Privacy browsers such as DuckDuckGo, Firefox Focus or Bromite means cookies and advertisements are automatically blocked. The makers of the browsers also promise to never track you and once your session is finished you simply tap the  convenient delete data button to destroy all traces of your search history including passwords.  

While you may not want to use Privacy browsers for routine tasks such as your weekly shop or checking your Twitter feed you should consider at least using them for general searches. Keeping your personal information out of the hands of is a crucial part of Cyber Security.  

As an added bonus websites will load much faster due to the advertisements being automatically blocked.

Add Mobile Security To Your Maintenance Plan

As a client of Carson IT you can add Mobile Security & Support to your Business Maintenance Plan.  We will take care of all of the above highlighted points plus on a monthly ongoing basis and will be on hand to provide Remote Support for all daily issues that arise including Email issues & General Support queries.