Keeping Your Mobile Phone and Smartphone Safe When You’re On The Go
Phone hacking conjures up images of sophisticated high-tech espionage—and it is. But it really isn’t as complicated or as sinister as it sounds. Voicemail spying simply entails breaking into someone else's voicemail.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to protect your mobile devices.
1. Password-protect your mobile device and voicemail with a PIN. Make the password strong and hard to guess by using numbers, upper- and lower-case letters, and at least one symbol.
2. Memorize your PIN. Don’t record it on anything you carry with you. Change your PIN periodically.
3. Use “strong” PINs that are hard to guess. These will have numbers, upper- and lowercase letters, and at least one symbol. For example, “3Dog$” is better than “1006.” You may be limited in PIN selection by the type of phone that you use, but do the best you can to create a strong PIN.
4. Never use a PIN (or password) with the last four digits of your Social Security number, your date of birth, your middle name or anything else that’s easily guessed or subject to ready access via other sources.
5. Arrange phone settings so the screen locks after a short period of inactivity. Arrange phone settings so a password is required to wake up your phone after an inactive period. Use a password that’s different from your others (ATM, email accounts, online bill-paying accounts).
6. Download anti-virus software and enable firewall protection for your cell phone. Make sure to update it regularly. Take note: Failing to update software is like being a member of a gym and not working out–looks good, sounds good, but does nothing for you.
7. Get out the pen and paper or your PC. Seriously. Make a physical list of everything on your smartphone—all the accounts and documents (or types of documents) it can access.
8. Encrypt smartphones used for sensitive business communications, activate a timeout password and install an updated anti-malware program and on-device personal firewall.
9. Don’t open unfamiliar attachments, emails or text messages from unknown sources. They’re likely to be harmful.
10. Be judicious about the type of applications that you download. Many apps come with spyware or other malicious software. Consider using a more secure computer for sensitive tasks such as online banking.
11. Delete voice and text messages with financial or personal information.
12. Data-wipe mobile devices. Use programs to destroy a device’s data if the password is entered incorrectly a certain number of times—say 10. Take advantage of software that locks the phone or erases the data remotely if the phone is lost or stolen.
13. Delete data on mobile devices. Before throwing away or recycling a mobile device, delete the information on it. The website recellular.com provides a deletion guide for most cell phones.
What about your business? Ever think about Cyber Liability?
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