Everybody knows that mobile technology has become a crucial part of our lives and increasing amounts of data and information are stored on mobile devices such as smartphones and laptops. These devices are designed for mobility, of course, so they are frequently used outside an office or home environment.
Anyone using mobile technology needs to follow specific safety procedures to keep data safe from prying eyes.
The National Cyber Security Centre is a part of GCHQ and has issued these five tips to help with keeping your smartphones and laptops safe:
1. Use your devices password protection. It may seem obvious to use a complex PIN or password but many devices do not automatically enable them to work. In which case you will have to turn it on to activate it. Some devices have fingerprint recognition but again this needs to be activated.
2. Ensure lost or stolen devices can be tracked, wiped or locked. If a tablet or phone is going to be lost or stolen, it will likely be when the person is out of the office. Most modern devices are equipped with web-based tools that allow the user to:
a. track the location of a device
b. remotely lock access to the device preventing anyone from using it
c. remotely erase data stored on the device
d. retrieve a backup of data stored on the device
3. Keep all devices up to date. All manufacturers, including Windows, iOS and Android, issue regular updates containing vital security updates to help keep devices protected. Wherever possible set your devices to update automatically.
4. Ensure your apps are up to date. As with the operating system, all apps should be kept up to date with patches supplied by the software company concerned. Often these updates will supply new features but they also tighten up security aspects too.
5. Be wary of unknown Wi-Fi hotspots. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are often available in places such as hotels, pubs and coffee shops. If you us these hotspots you run the risk of allowing someone to access whatever you are working on or access your login details. Wherever possible access the internet using your mobile 3G or 4G mobile network which have built in security. You can also use ‘tethering’ where your other devices such as laptops share your 3G or 4G connection, or a wireless ‘dongle’ provided by your mobile network.
Use these tips and you can be certain your mobile devices, and the information stored on them, will be safe.