Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mobile Security Best Practices

Mobile Security Best Practices

Mobile devices are quickly surpassing traditional computers for more and more of our needs.  As these functions evolve and expand, and we use our wireless tools to access more information, the security risks multiply.

With the rapid proliferation of mobile devices not slowing down, malware infections are on the rise, growing 163% in 2012. Just like the golden days of the internet, hackers are more than happy to take advantage of this vast new crop of unprotected devices.

But it’s not only hackers we need to guard against. We need to make sure other scenarios are covered, such as: What happens when my phone is lost or stolen? Or, How do I prevent a data breach? And, How can I manage all this stuff?  So with all this in mind, let’s go down the list:


 How many of us just slide a finger to the right to unlock our devices?  I’m betting more than half.  Whether you choose a secure pattern, a pin or password, your fingerprint, or your face, make sure you are the only person who can get past your lock screen.  This is the first line of defense when your phone ends up in someone else’s hands.

 Remote Location & Wiping

When a device is lost or stolen, swift action is a must. Sure, using GPS to track down a thief is enticing, but the main focus should be to keep data secure by locking and/or wiping. Apple iPhone lets you use iCloud & Android uses the Google Sync for remote wiping. There are plenty of good stand-alone apps that do a great job with this too. 

 Bluetooth & NFC 

Turn them off. Unless using a headset or sharing a photo with a friend, these tools are open doors into your devices. Both are hackable with the right tools, and can present real security risks.  Viruses have been found that spread from phone to phone via Bluetooth. So, keep them disabled when not in use, and if your device supports hidden mode, use that too.

We’ve only skimmed the surface here, but the criteria covered above should serve as a solid starting point to develop a secured mobile device or tablet.

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