Is Your Smartphone Secure?

Smartphones have become essential tools for today's society. A significant amount of personal, private and sensitive information can be stored and accessed via mobile devices. Employees are increasingly using their personal smartphone for business purposes have resulted in heightened risks. These multifunction devices are becoming as powerful as desktop or laptop computers which have led to an increase in productivity at the job site. Increased productivity is a positive feature for any organization, but the risks associated with mobile devices can be significant and need to be taken into consideration.
What Can Be Done To Secure Your Smartphone?
The protection of smartphones is a must for both personal and business purposes. The following steps can help protect your smartphone and the data it holds.
·         Keep your smartphone physically secure. It has been reported that millions of mobile devices are lost each year. Whether you are at a social event or traveling, don’t let it leave your side.
·         Lock your smartphone. Use a unique and secure password or PIN to access your device. Remember to include timeout requiring authentication after a period of inactivity.
·         Disable features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when they are not in use. These features can provide an easy way for a nearby user to gain access to your sensitive data.
·         Install anti-virus software for your smartphone if available. The number of cyber threats to mobile computing devices continues to grow. Reports show that there were more than two million new mobile malware samples in 2013.
·         Be careful when downloading apps onto your smartphone. Only download apps from a reputable source. In addition, if the app needs access to items unrelated to its function, users should be cautious
·         Update the operating system. Not only do they provide you with enhanced functionality and improved features, but they also fix critical security vulnerabilities. Many manufacturers regularly provide updates to address known vulnerabilities.
·         Do not open attachments or links from untrusted sources; you risk being infected with malware. Most mobile malware gets installed when a user visits an infected web site, downloads a malicious application or clicks on a link or an attachment. Certain types of malware can infect the devices or can be used as a platform for malicious activity.
·         If your smartphone is lost, report it immediately to your carrier or organization. Some devices allow the data to be erased remotely.
·         Avoid logging into accounts when using public Wi-Fi networks. Public wireless accesses are not secure and cyber criminals can potentially access any information you provide, such as credit card numbers, confidential information, or passwords.
·         Securely dispose of your smartphone. It is important that you wipe the information from your smartphone and make sure any SD cards are removed and erased before disposal.

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