Safeguarding Your Mobile Devices From Security Threats

10 Easy Ways to Protect Your Mobile Devices from Cyber Attacks
25 January 2022 by
Safeguarding Your Mobile Devices From Security Threats

That mini-computer you carry with you is a growing target for hackers. You use it to shop online, perform internet banking transactions, surf the Net, read emails, watch the news... you are probably reading this article from one now.

The bad news doesn't stop there.

Once your phone is hacked, your other devices may be next if they are connected. That's because your overall online security is only as strong as the weakest link in your chain of connected devices. The reality is, mobile devices are less safe than desktop computers and it is, therefore, worthwhile boosting security on such devices if you use them in business. 

What are Mobile Security Threats?

A mobile security threat is a means of cyberattacks that targets mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Similar to a hacking attack on a PC or server, a mobile security threat explains vulnerabilities in mobile software, hardware, and network connections to enable malicious, unauthorized activities on the target device.

Improving Security on Your Mobile Devices 

Unfortunately, the protection of tablets and smartphones against cybersecurity attacks isn't as robust as that of desktops and laptops. Anti-malware applications may be present, but they aren't as powerful as their computer counterparts. 

Fortunately, you can still implement robust safety measures to protect your smartphones and tablets. We recommend following these practices to improve your cybersecurity on your mobile devices.

        #1 - Train Your Staff

Educating your employees can reduce mobile security threats dramatically. As people are accustomed to consumer-type freedoms on mobile devices, it's a wise policy to build awareness of security risks inherent in mobile technology. Security training programs ought to include topics of keeping mobile devices secure, what activities belong in their enterprise devices (and which ones don't), and what day-to-day practices they can implement to avoid falling victim to common threats. 

        #2 - Establish a Sound Security Policy 

Before issuing tablets or smartphones to your teams, create an effective usage policy. Your employees must be aware of the security risks and measures that can help them reduce the risks as they are the first line of defence against cybercrime.

Your company policy can include the following: 

  • Requirements for the installation and remote software wiping on any personal device that stores or accesses company data

  • Employee training and education on safeguarding company information when using wireless networks on their mobile devices

  • Data protection methods that include automatic locking or other security measures applicable after long inactivity periods

  • Protocols for lost and stolen devices

  • Use of security software and antivirus platforms

  • Backup requirements

        #3 - Keep your Software and Operating System Up-to-Date

Updating Android and iOS operating systems improves overall user experience, significantly addressing security vulnerabilities.

Install updates as soon as the developer rolls them out to reduce exposure to cybersecurity threats. Delaying it may give criminals enough time to attack your weaknesses and take advantage of outdated operating systems. 

        #4 - Enable Password Protection

A complex password can help prevent cybercriminals from accessing mobile devices. Passwords are not just a jumble of alphanumeric combinations, you can also use facial or fingerprint recognition, and even eye (iris) recognition technologies depending on what suits your employees. 

If you opt for digits and letters, don't share the combination with people outside your company. On top of that, be sure that your staff doesn't store them on their phones. Unmarked folders and physical wallets are a much safer option.

        #5 - Install Business Programs Only

Lenient download policies can allow your team members to install non-business apps. Downloading such apps might seem harmless, but they are also infamous for their harmful advertising codes and many other threats.

To mitigate this risk, tell your employees they can only download and use apps necessary for their roles. 

        #6 - Refrain from Public Wi-Fi Connections

Your team may need to use public Wi-Fi networks in emergencies to send crucial emails or schedule a meeting. However, connecting to such networks can expose confidential company information to hackers using the same network. 

The easiest way to minimize this risk is to provide a high-quality internet plan that features roaming services for your remote workers.

But if there's no way to avoid public Wi-Fi connections, a reputable VPN or a secure global network may do the trick. It can help shield your data by creating direct, secure links from your location to the intended website.

        #7 - Leverage Phone Tracking 

Losing company-issued mobile devices is unfortunate, but it's not the end of the world.

Enabling Android Phone Tracker, Find My Phone on iOS, or other device tracking software can help locate your lost smartphones. Some programs also enable you to remove data on your stolen devices remotely. 

Installing these apps takes a couple of minutes and gives you much-needed peace of mind. With it, even if your staff loses their mobile device, cybercriminals are less likely to get their hands on the content. 

        #8 - Incorporate Mobile Device Management (MDM) Software

For even more security, you may want to integrate with reliable MDM as it's an excellent way to separate personal and business information while allowing your team members to set up robust security measures on their devices. 

In most cases, cloud-based software is the most affordable, flexible, and manageable type of MDM. Many platforms let you check out device information, update and manage apps, configure your devices, create usage restrictions, and remove content remotely. 

        #9 - Screen Messages Carefully 

Cybercriminals frequently employ SMS phishing to trick your team into clicking dangerous links. They pose as someone credible, asking your staff to share confidential information. 

If your employees encounter such messages, they should delete them or alert the IT department. Another great idea is to avoid opening the SMS and block the sender. 

        #10 - Blocking and Whitelisting

Many threats can compromise your company due to employee errors. For example, a team member may not realize they're downloading a malicious app that allows thieves to steal data from their mobile devices. 

Blocking and whitelisting can enable you to protect your employees from these risks by determining which sites and apps are safe. On one hand, blocking certain applications can give your IT department peace of mind and alert them when someone tries to access those applications. On the other hand, whitelists can work great for highlighting the tools your team should prioritize over social media and games. 

Don't Drop Your Guard

Your employees may still use their mobile devices to send emails and share sensitive information. That's why shielding them from cyber criminals should be your top priority.

Develop a strict usage policy and follow other recommended practices to make your team's smartphones and tablets virtually impervious to data theft. 

GET IN TOUCH WITH US TODAY for even more cybersecurity tips. We can schedule a non-salesy chat to help you identify and address any potential security risks to keep your employees and company's data safe.

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