Did you get the iPhone X for Christmas? The new phone is revolutionizing the market with the facial recognition login ability. But how solid is this new security measure? Thus far it appears to pass all the tests, but it brings up a bigger topic on mobile device security. There are many other ways for criminals to gain access to your device outside of hacking your face or touch ID.
Mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets, are dominating the world of technology. According to Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind. With so many users on mobile, there is an urgent need to protect your privacy and data.
Many people may not even realize the need to secure a mobile device. We often associate viruses and ransomware with a desktop computer, but the reality is that your mobile device can be hacked. Attacks such as stealing personal information, ransomware that shuts your phone down until payment is made and many more threats exist. Mobile banking has increased, and users also store their credit card information on their phones. Businesses that mobile devices to employees are also at risk.
There are steps you can take personally and as a business to ensure you are protected.
Avoid downloading third-party apps: These apps are not vetted by Google or Apple and can potentially be a safety risk for your mobile device. This is a bigger issue for Android users, since they allow a little more freedom with downloading outside of their approved apps. It gives users the ability to customize, but also leaves them more vulnerable. Apple is known for protecting its users from these apps by only allowing apps from the iTunes store to be downloaded, but there are ways around that leading us to the next tip…
Don’t jailbreak your phone: Regardless of what freedom it brings, the risk it causes is much higher. Jailbreaking your phone removes security from the apps AND the entire phone’s operating system, leaving you open to potential attacks.
Set a strong password and keep your phone locked at all times.
Encrypt Data on Older Phones:Encrypting your data makes it harder for hackers to access and interpret your information. If you are using a business device or simply doing online banking/investing, then this will provide an extra layer of security. iOS automatically encrypts data for your devices, and Androids recently began encrypting by default as well. If you have an older phone, then check “Security” in your settings to ensure it’s encrypted.
Utilize Antivirus: Android users can download an antivirus app for additional security. Some of the top apps in the market are Alibaba mobile security, Bitdefender, Bullguard, G Data Kaspersky Lab and Sophos antivirus apps.
Other things you can do include: Avoid using unsecure WIFI connections. Back up your data. Don’t send sensitive data over text. While you may be tempted to share a password or credit card via text, it’s not secure. And continually update your phone’s operating systems. Avoiding the new iOS release isn’t a good thing. Letting your phone remain outdated will increase the risk of hacks.
The mentality “it won’t ever happen to me” is dangerous, so assume worse case scenario when it comes to technology and take these steps to protect your data.
If you work for a business that issues tablets and phones out to your company, then taking these steps is also pertinent to securing your company’s data. We offer mobile device management at Valeo Networks and can assist with supporting an array of devices that protect your information and increase productivity.