Canadian SmartPhone users account for over 50% of all mobile phone users in this country. That number increases dramatically for professionals and business owners. SmartPhone use is almost universal among those who own an online business or who conduct business online (such as eCommerce and marketing). For most of us, it is quite literally worth its weight in gold.
As the popularity of SmartPhones increases, so do the attempts to hack, steal and otherwise exploit them. A stolen or hacked SmartPhone can grant access to cloud storage, company intranets, contact lists, customer databases, social media accounts, financial institutions and email. Malicious attacks may also include malware, viruses and identity theft. Anything you do with your phone can be done by someone who hacks into it and malware can wreak havoc in a myriad of ways, if you don’t employ security measures. The methods of accessing SmartPhones become more sophisticated every day, and the hacking can extend to your other devices, at home or at work.
In spite of the growing threat, 87% of Canadians don’t utilize comprehensive security for their SmartPhone and 89% don’t protect their tablets, according to McAfee’s 2013 Digital Assets Survey. The threat to SmartPhones has reached critical levels, prompting tech giant, Intel, to launch a mobile device security campaign to educate device users. The campaign focuses on the following three ways to protect your mobile device.
1. Locking your SmartPhone is your first line of defense to prevent your data from falling into the wrong hands if your phone is lost or stolen. Depending on the operating system you may have several options available to you, including a PIN, voice or face recognition, or a traditional password. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s tough to crack! For example, a random combination of numbers, letters, case, etc., will make your password much more bulletproof.
2. Tracking app’s can help you find your phone if it’s lost or stolen. The more advanced app’s will allow you to wipe your phone’s data remotely, an invaluable feature to business professionals who may have sensitive data on their phone.
3. Encryption app’s allow you to encrypt your phone’s storage, preventing anyone from accessing it without a password.
There are several app’s on the market that may offer some protection for individual devices. The most acclaimed offer multiple security measures and are able to protect all devices, regardless of what platform they use. We strongly suggest adding mobile security measures to your company security policy for all staff.
Have you ever encountered a security threat on your mobile device? Please share your experience in the comments below.
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