Smartphones and tablets allow you to stay connected to your business from anywhere, but using mobile devices to conduct business requires a certain level of vigilance on your part. Here five simple ways to protect your business on your mobile device.
Be aware of where you connect. The ability to respond to business emails while you wait for your lunch meeting, or process and approve electronic invoices during flight layovers can be instrumental in transforming down time into productivity. But when it comes to keeping your business protected on your mobile device, remember this: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Public Wi-Fi hot spots don’t guarantee that your information is secure. Inconvenient as it may fell, wait to find a private, password-protected Wi-Fi connection before accessing any business-related information. When accessing accounts, ensure that you see the https:// prefix at the top of your mobile browser to confirm that the session is secure, and check in periodically to make sure it hasn’t “timed out.”
Know where your apps originate. Using native mobile apps provided by a vendor typically offers greater mobile security than accessing information through your mobile device’s browser. But with more than one million apps available on the iTunes app store alone, it’s not easy to spot the legitimate apps from the fraudulent imposter versions. Whenever possible, download a third party vendor’s app directly from their website so you’re confident the app is trustworthy.
Be proactive about your passwords. The two most common passwords in 2013 and 2014 were “123456” and “password,” according to Splashdata. Other common passwords included “abc123” and “111111.” Protect your mobile device with a unique password that’s a bit tougher to guess than that—and confirm that every account you own has a unique password.
Know how your employees use their devices. Information technology research firm Gartner estimates that nearly 40% of employees use their personal mobile devices to check in with work from time to time. Though having a constantly connected team may feel like a dream come true, but it requires that you implement mobile security standards. Identify how employees access their work-related data on a mobile device, and on what type of device. With that information, you can determine where your business might be vulnerable due, and so you can proactively manage risk. At minimum, ensure that you have working and current firewalls, spam and malware filters in place. Cloud-based applications should involve single sign on and password credentials.
Play mobile Chicken Little. Practice how you would handle the worst-case scenario if your mobile device were lost or stolen. Do know how to “lock” it remotely? What sensitive data might be retrieved from your device’s mobile browser history if it fell into the wrong hands? How would you swiftly change passwords related to such accounts from a desktop computer? Should a device ever become lost, your business will be far less impacted thanks to your pretending that the sky is falling every once in awhile.
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