Human Resources and Technology

Mobile device security: Keeping your smartphones and tablets safe

September 30, 2018
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In today’s business world, it seems as though everyone is on the go at all times, which means more and more work is being done on mobile devices. With the advancement of technology and smartphones and tablets becoming easier and easier to use, it is no longer a hassle to send off a few work emails, review documents or even edit a presentation — all on your mobile device.

While it is convenient to be able to do more intensive work while away from your desk, it is important that people take the necessary steps to secure their mobile devices. Those who work with sensitive and confidential material need to be extra cautious.

Mobile devices deserve the same amount of protection as a work desktop or laptop, so following these simple steps will ensure added security:

Use password protection

All smartphones and tablets come with the ability to be locked. Some newer mobile device models have advanced locking features, like facial recognition or thumb print access. If you don’t have a newer device, a simple 4- or 6-digit code, or swipe passcode, is still a vital safety precaution. Make sure your passcode is something that you can easily remember, as too many attempts may lock you out from your device for a brief time.

Those who are working with extremely sensitive information can look into encrypting their entire mobile device, which provides a substantially higher level of security than simple password protection.

Make sure a device finder is active

Traveling for business or jumping from meeting to meeting can sometimes leave people scatterbrained, and it isn’t uncommon for someone to accidentally leave their smartphone or mobile device in a cab, at their airport gate or on the subway. Ensuring that you have a device finder app that is already installed and actively tracking your location will be of huge benefit in the event you need to track down your device.

IPhone’s offer the handy Find My iPhone app, which allows users to track down their phone with extreme accuracy. The app also allows users to remotely wipe their devices, which may sometimes be necessary if the device is not able to be retrieved or the information is far too sensitive to risk having it land in the wrong hands.

Back up your data

In the event someone does lose their mobile device or damage it beyond repair, it is important that all data on the device is not permanently lost. Doing frequent backups to the iCloud or other cloud storage services will save you from the headache of having to deal with lost data. Most mobile devices can set up schedules for automatic backups.

Be wary when using public Wi-Fi

While convenient, public Wi-Fi networks are not as secure, which means it is easier for a hacker to intercept the data you are sending over the network. It is not recommended to send any sensitive information when using public Wi-Fi, as they are not password protected, and anyone can access the network. Be privy to this especially when sending content that contains banking or credit card information.

The trend of working on the go or working remotely from a mobile device is not going to slow down any time soon. If you’re out of the office, it does not mean you are free of security risk.

Be proactive and make sure that your devices are secure and protected.