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9 Tips for Increasing Your Mobile Security

With mobile computing technology on the rise, the risks for IT security are increasing as you read this. After 16 years, you would think the nation’s IT security professionals would have mobile security contained, but it is far from true and an elephant to manage as we continue to migrate to web-based business platforms, cloud technology, and social networking—using mobile devices and tablets to do it!

Although we rely on our service providers for the bulk of mobile security, there are a number of steps we can take as individuals, whether for personal or business use, to maintain IT security on our mobile devices.

  • You already know to create a strong password, change it often, and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols that NO one can guess. But do you know that on your Apple iPhone, you can adjust the “simple passcode” feature, which will allow you to use more than four digits for your passcode?
  • Set the “auto lock” or “lock phone after” setting to lock your phone after only 5-10 minutes of inactivity. You can set your phone to answer a call without a password. Also ensure that your mobile encryption settings are ON! This may protect your SIM card data if your phone lands in the wrong hands.
  • You can manage the number of failed passwords to only a few attempts, in the situation that someone else is trying to access your phone. Also, ensure that your password does not display on the phone as you enter it.
  • Some phones have a “find my phone” option, or you can download an app to help you map the location of your phone in case you lose it.
  • Manage your Wi-Fi settings so that you are not connecting to untrusted networks. Some phones include an “ask to join” feature that you can set.
  • Back up your data to a cloud service; most service providers include this option, and you can set up automated backups. Be sure to delete sensitive information that you would never want to share.
  • If you are prompted to run updates on your device, do not delay. Often, these updates include current security patches. Try to stay current with your devices and updates to avoid security issues. This is very important! Visit your service provider website often to stay abreast of the latest threats and solutions. If you receive emails from your service provider, read them thoroughly.
  • Use trusted sources to download apps to your mobile device. As thousands of apps continue to become available, secure apps are critical.
  • Record your mobile device information in a separate location from your device. Include your phone number, make and model numbers, and the access code. In the case of theft, contact your service provider and have your number disabled.

Get to know your mobile device. Make a habit of going into your phone settings often to understand what is there, why, and how to make your own security adjustments. You can help protect your mobile data and your personal credentials with a little extra effort.

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Mary is a leading trainer in Microsoft® and Business Applications.

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