Insurance and Security

Mobile device security: Four tips and strategies to employ now

Update your mobile device security standards to help protect you and your small business.

Published: December 10, 2014

Advances in technology and the explosion of the mobile device industry in the past few years have improved efficiency for small business owners. As mobile use continues to grow, understand what to look for and how to protect your business and personal information with these four tips.

1. Create and protect strong passwords

Hackers are smarter than ever, and if there’s a hole in your system, they’ll find it. When creating and managing passwords:

  • Create strong, complex passwords for your systems and accounts by using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

  • Use the security features that come with your device, like the keypad lock or phone lock function when it is not in use, or the “find my phone” or “wipe out memory” functions if it is lost.

  • Keep your account numbers, passwords, Social Security number, and date of birth private. 

  • Never store or share your personal or financial information in a text message, phone call, or email.

2. Be cautious when using public hotspots

When you’re out of the office and looking to connect, be careful about joining public Wi-Fi networks. If possible, use a virtual private network (VPN), which allows you to transfer data securely even when on a public network. Turn on Wi-Fi only when you need it because it broadcasts your media access control (MAC) address almost constantly, searching to join networks. With this information, people can target and track your movement.

3. Log off

When you finish banking online or using social media accounts, always log off and close the browser or app. This will help prevent others from accessing your accounts. For your security, Wells Fargo's smartphone apps, iPad apps, and mobile banking site will automatically log you off after 10 minutes of inactivity. A 2014 report from the FBI recommends that you also make sure your privacy settings for these apps are customized to your needs.1 Default social media settings, such as what information is available to the general public, might be too liberal or broad for your needs.

4. Use mobility management software

Mobility management software can help you manage and address the risks associated with increased use of mobile devices in your business. It allows you to better secure and monitor all mobile devices in your business from a central dashboard. This includes equipping security firewalls, tracking use of approved apps, encrypting files before transfer, and accessing devices remotely to wipe them of information in case of loss or theft.

The convenience of mobility can be quickly offset by the cost of a security breach in your business. By following these simple tips, you can help protect yourself from hackers and criminals — and avoid becoming their easy target.

 


1 Source: Cyber Division FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center Private Industry Notification, May 29, 2014

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