Mobile Devices – Connecting on the Go
Mobility has become a way of life for many in their personal and professional lives. Wi-Fi hotspots are becoming increasingly prolific, and more and more devices are built for life on the go. Remember that as you travel, your data travels with you. Find out how to make sure cybersecurity travels with you, as well:
You and your device
• Don’t leave your device unattended. Theft and pickpocketing can be an issue in some places, but leaving your device in a restaurant or on a park bench can be a tempting find for anyone passing by.
• Be prepared in case your device does go missing. If your device does go missing, have contingency plans in place: back up important files to the cloud, use an app(s) that can remotely lock/locate your phone.
• Password protect your device. Even if your company doesn’t require it, having a password on your device can be the best first line defense to keeping others out of your data.
• Be aware of your surroundings. Remember that those in close proximity could see you input your password or read a bank account number.
• Turn off Bluetooth when not in use. In addition to saving a bit of precious battery power, Bluetooth is an open connection into your phone.
You and your connection
• Don’t connect to unfamiliar or unsecured Wi-Fi. If you must, most businesses will have a browser log in at minimum for their unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Look for this to ensure you are connected to a legitimate hotspot.
• Be wary of random texts. Do not click on links from unknown numbers. Even texts from friends can contain malicious links if they have a virus on their phone.
• Run an antivirus program on your mobile devices. A good mobile antivirus program will scan all downloads for malware, regularly check your device, and even lock your device if lost/stolen.
You and your apps
• Only download apps from trusted sources. Apps in trusted stores (via the Play store (Android) or App Store (Apple)) have to meet certain requirements to be featured, and are much less likely to do damage to your phone or spy on your data.
• Double-check app permissions before downloading. Make sure that app permissions make sense for the type of app you are downloading before agreeing.
• Delete apps you no longer use. Old and out-of-date apps can serve as a security weak point in your phone. Delete apps that are no longer in use.
• Don’t use the same password and username for every app. If you use the same password on all your apps, it could be obtained from a less secure app and used in a more sensitive setting – such as your e-mail or bank account apps.
• Think twice before rooting/jail breaking a device. Granting the wrong application superuser access can lock your phone and potentially send off all your sensitive data. “Hacked” phones also do not get regular updates, which can pose another security risk.
Our mobile devices often carry as much or more of our personal data than our computers. Failing to keep your mobile devices secure can be just as dangerous as carrying around an open sack of money. Remember to always STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Keep an eye out for new articles about cybersecurity topics the whole month of October.