It is quite possible your whole life is on your mobile device; from your personal financial details and pictures and videos to your company’s marketing plans, and so on.
For obvious reasons, you don’t want anyone else breaking into your mobile device and stealing private information. The good news is that Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems make it easy to lock down your mobile device and stop cybercriminals from getting into your files. Keep reading to learn more.
Unraveling the Risks of Using Mobile Devices
Mobile devices are incredibly convenient and make it easy to access information on the go. But all this convenience increases your vulnerability to cyberattacks. Here are some of the major risks you should know about.
Theft and Loss
It’s all too common for mobile devices to be stolen. Some people either accidentally lose access to their mobile devices while traveling or had them stolen. One survey showed that 4.3% of all employer-issued mobile devices are stolen every year. That’s a staggering statistic that should drive home the fact that everyone should be extra cautious around their mobile devices.
Once a cybercriminal has physical access to your mobile device, it may be easier to access your information using brute force attempts (unless you used full-disk AES-256 encryption). The best solution is to keep your phone at arm’s length – at all times unless you’re at home where you know safety is guaranteed.
Using Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi makes life more convenient when you’re on the go. Whether you’re stopping by at a local café for some coffee or working out at a fitness center near you – public Wi-Fi makes it easy to keep in touch with loved ones, reply to business emails, and buy new things.
A big risk of using Public Wi-Fi is man-in-the-middle attacks. It’s easy to impersonate a public Wi-Fi service and snoop in on all the information that is being exchanged on that connection.
Pro tip: Make sure the public Wi-Fi is encrypted because people can use packet analyzers to view everything transmitted over the network.
Enterprise users are more susceptible to phishing scams on their mobile devices. Data shows that 1 in 50 enterprise users fall prey to mobile phishing scams every day.
It is also worth noting that phishing scams on mobile devices extend beyond email to social media apps, messaging platforms, and even SMS. The attacks are technically simple and use social engineering to breach devices. For example, a parent would click on a link without hesitation on a message saying that their child has been in an accident.
Steps You Can Take to Secure Your Mobile Devices
There are a myriad of steps you can take to secure your mobile devices from breach attempts and theft. The following steps are not difficult to implement and won’t impede functionality.
Create a Strong Lock Pattern
Protect your mobile device by setting up a strong lock pattern and requiring fingerprint authentication every time you restart the device. Biometrics will prevent any thieves from breaking into your device, should you lose access to it.
Encrypt the Memory Card
Locking the device with a lock pattern may not be enough to prevent criminals from accessing your data. All the attacker has to do is remove the memory card and view the contents on a computer. This can be prevented by encrypting the memory card. Our IT consultants can help you fully secure your mobile device to prevent hackers from breaking into the data.
Use a VPN (especially when using public WiFi)
Public Wi-Fi allows cybercriminals to snoop on your information. Try to avoid using public Wi-Fi to stay safe – but if this is unavoidable, consider using an encrypted VPN connection. This will encrypt all the incoming and outgoing connections from your mobile device. As a rule, we recommend not conducting financial transactions or accessing sensitive information on public Wi-Fi. But an encrypted VPN connection should protect the data.
Update Your Apps
All those constant updates can be annoying – especially when you’re in the middle of something. But these updates could be the difference between a successful data breach and a failed one. We recommend updating your mobile device as soon as possible. These updates will patch up any security flaws and protect your information. It’s worth the hassle.
What if the Mobile Device is Compromise/Lost? - Understand Your Options
There are a few steps you can take to protect your data and, if possible, help you recover the device quickly.
Alert the Police
It may not be possible to get your phone back if the phone has been stolen but filing a police report can protect you from any fraudulent charges that were made with your phone.
Call the SIM Carrier to Disable the Service
Reach out to your SIM carrier to disable services to your phone and, if possible, erase all the data in the phone.
Call the Bank
If you saved your credit card information and used it to conduct financial transactions on your phone, then your next call should be to the bank. Ask them to reissue new credit cards and block the IMEI of the phone to prevent access to the bank’s app.
Erase the Data from Your Phone
If you are fairly certain that your phone is stolen, you should remotely erase all data. But act fast because thieves can remove the SIM card and make it impossible to wipe the data if you delay. Check-in with your mobile device’s instruction booklet to remotely erase the data.
Hire an IT Service Consultant to Make Your Device Cyber Secure
These were just a few precautions you can take to safeguard the data on your mobile devices. It is recommended to work with a cybersecurity experts to further bolster the security of your device.
Protect your mobile devices by working with cybersecurity experts at Microsys Inc. We lead the world in providing IT managed services and office technology solutions. To learn more about our services, contact us today by clicking here or calling us at (416) 425 0444!