Tips for Securing Mobile Devices
Imagine this: You’ve been travelling all day for business and your flight has been delayed. You’re waiting in line to get a cup of coffee in preparation for the long commute home. You glance down and discover that your laptop is missing. You start panicking—oh no, you’ve stored all of your confidential information on it. Plus, your boss isn’t going to be happy. Did you leave it on the seat? Did someone steal it? What should you do?
Time is of the essence. You must immediately report to the appropriate authorities that your device has been lost or stolen! Immediacy will ensure that your device is deactivated as quickly as possible so that hackers or thieves will have less time to retrieve confidential information. Here are some other tips for securing laptops, smartphones, tablets and more:
1. Protect your mobile devices
- Use smart passwords—i.e. passwords that are difficult to guess. Do not use the same password for every device, and do not allow your device to save passwords.
- Be aware of your surroundings and always keep mobile devices with you.
- Be cautious when charging devices—public charging stations can interact with software and compromise confidential data.
- Keep software updated—this prevents hackers from taking advantage of known flaws in older software.
- Install and maintain anti-virus software and a firewall.
- Be cautious when posting your cell phone number and email address via the internet.
- Be wary of downloadable software and links sent to your email or text messages.
- Encrypt files and store important data separately—use a USB drive.
2. Password-protect your USB Drive
- Use security features—back-up your data, password protect your device.
- Keep personal and business USB drives separate.
- Use and maintain security software, keep all software up-to-date on your computer.
- Disable auto run—by disabling this feature you can stop infected drives from opening automatically.
3. Restrict your wireless network
- Do not use public Wi-Fi networks —cyber criminals can steal data by hacking into Wi-Fi – and turn off Bluetooth when not in use.
- Change default passwords—these passwords are pre-configured and can be easily found online.
- Restrict access—allow only authorized users to have access to your Wi-Fi.
- Encrypt the data on your network.
- Install a firewall and maintain anti-virus software.
Imagine this: Phew…you’ve found your laptop, it was right where you left it—this could have turned-out badly, but now you have a few security tips to prevent future misfortunes.