The benefits of smart phones, tablets, and laptops are tremendous. They have made our daily activities easier and our work more efficient. We have access to data and the ability to work from anywhere at any time with lower operating cost while providing our customers quicker response times. But this mobility comes at a potential cost. The cost is not merely limited to losing or breaking the device but, more importantly, giving an unintended party a wealth of information about our lives, both personal and professional.
Think back over the day and what you have used your smart phone for. You may have sent an email, logged into your calendar to check an appointment time, logged into your company CRM to check the status of part, checked the balance in your bank account, or used a mobile app to purchase an item. Are any of these sites preconfigured for easy login?
With the ability of our smart phones to do so much we need to be smart about security and to treat our mobile phone like our computer when it comes to security. A recent poll showed 67% of smart phone users don’t use the screen lock pass code. This statistic included me until I attended a webinar about mobile device security.
Here are some basic security tips. Lock your phone with a pass code and when entering the code shield the numbers. Due to financial incentives, mobile malware is on the rise so do regular software updates. Don’t click on unsolicited links, use care when downloading apps, don’t jail break a phone and encrypt sensitive data. If you access your bank account or even Facebook from your phone don’t have these sites preconfigured for easy login.
Assessing social media sites from your smart phone can pose a personal security problem. Twitter and Foursquare are fun and beneficial. Someone may Tweet about the newest restaurant or a restaurant that is running a lunch special. You check in with Foursquare while in line at the local coffee shop and the competitor across the street sends you a coupon. But the risk can outweigh the benefit. Relay your Foursquare location to your public Twitter account and you just told the world where you are and that you are not at home. Don’t have that many followers? Check out pleaserobme.com to find out how your information is accessed.
Follow your company’s security policy if you use a company issued phone. From a personal security standpoint it is impossible to be aware of your surroundings if you are texting or talking on the phone in public. Also, prevent the incentive to break into your vehicle by not leaving devices visible.
The bottom line is be smart when using your smart phone.