Mobile adoption and capabilities; anywhere from access to email, applications, the Internet and company data, is expanding, and so is our ability to stay in touch with family and co-workers, while building larger databases, and adding information to our lives, especially on our laptops and phones. Where technology goes, and grows, so do hackers. If hackers get into your network, (and they may already be there), there is a great chance they got in through an open door on your device. When it happens, it usually means bottom-line problems for companies, because hackers will be snaking and slithering through the back end of your networks, looking for opportunities to profit from your distress.
The build-up of data, multiplied by the growth in Smartphone usage, and advancing technologies, means that one day a massive attack on your sensitive company data could have begun its path to destruction, through a laptop or Smartphone. Smartphones were once simple tools to make basic phone calls, but now they contain features that are normally found on computers. In the past, the ability to send and receive e-mails, search the Internet, and work remotely was restricted to the office or laptop computers. The Palm Pilot of the late 1990s, for example, could sync with a computer, but for the most part was a secure personal database, known as a digital assistant, that stored data. The biggest security concern was losing the storage device and having someone steal your information.
Now we can create and edit Microsoft Office documents, download apps with personal and business managers, personal assistants, or obtain GPS directions; the
list of apps is endless and growing. The list of possibilities is also endless for a hacker. What the hacker can do today may also be twice what he, or she, can do tomorrow. Data theft is the biggest danger regarding Smartphone usage, because these devices are excellent tools for enabling the theft of data.
Here are a few tips to protect your phone:
Use a pin, password or pattern to lock your phone.
For Android devices, go to your Location & Security Settings.
Apple IOS users can find these functions in the General
Options of their settings. Avoid all simple four number passwords.
Never store your usernames and passwords on your phone. Download apps only from trusted stores. Make sure you check ratings and reviews if they are available.
If you don’t log out of those sites once your transaction is complete, you are vulnerable. So when companies issue Smartphones to their employees without security, hoping for bottom-line rewards, they may be asking for a lot more problems than they bargained
for, which could indeed hollow out their bottom lines.
Just remember, if a hacker gets access to your passwords, your life could change forever.
I’m a government cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the Vice-President of Cyber at SIRCO, an investigations and protections firm in Montréal, Canada.
I’m also a frequent contributor to National & Global media reportage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and the real social network dangers that families and individuals face every day.