Mobile phones have become increasingly useful in our daily lives it’s hard to imagine how we would function without them. However, your phone represents a significant vulnerability to the threat of cybercrime and the potential damage can wreak havoc on your personal data or your company’s data.

Whether your mobile phone has been issued to you by your company or issued as your personal phone for company business, mobile security should be a concern taken seriously.

Common Business Use

Using a personal phone for company business can be as simple as checking your work email on your phone, something that most of us do daily without even thinking about it. We may use public wi-fi to respond to work emails or even to upload sensitive documents. Many entrepreneurs use mobile phones to access accounting software with their business’ financial data.

Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise, with nearly 50 percent of victims being small businesses. Mobile phones are as vulnerable as desktop computers and should be protected in much the same way. However, many users don’t see these devices as a threat. According to a study by IBM, users are three times more likely to respond to a phishing attack on a mobile device than a desktop, in part because a phone is where people are most likely to first see a message.

Linking Personal Threats to Business

There are special concerns for people who use cell phones for playing games. In September 2019 hackers breached the database of the popular ‘Words With Friends’ game, exposing personal data of more than 200 million users, including login credentials, passwords, phone numbers, and Facebook IDs. Do you use the same login and password for your company email that you use for gaming? If so, this creates an easy gateway for hackers to identify your password.

6 Tips to Protect Your Mobile Phone

Protecting your mobile phone from hacking involves many of the same tactics as protecting your desktop computer or tablet:

  1. Strong password security – at least 6 characters. Do not use past addresses, kids’ names, birthdays, anniversaries, or any part of your name, and change your passwords regularly.
  2. Install a recovery app on your phone in case it is lost or stolen. This will allow you to remotely lock down the phone from a computer and determine its location using GPS.
  3. Exercise strong physical security over your cell phone. Keep it in a pocket or deep in a purse. If you work in a large office where you don’t know all employees well, don’t leave your cell phone out on your desk.
  4. Enable ‘Do Not Track’ in your mobile Web browser. Information you provide on websites is collected and used for delivering mobile advertising messages. The Do Not Track option tells websites not to collect your data. The Google Chrome browser for Android and Safari on iOS will allow you to set up Do Not Track. This will help contain the spread of your phone number.
  5. Do not provide your mobile phone number to a website when prompted.
  6. Discuss mobile security with employees and provide training that includes tips about good “mobile hygiene.”

With the recent COVID-19 crisis, becoming educated on your mobile security is even more crucial given the new reality of living in a virtual world.  If you would like to discuss your company’s cybersecurity needs, please contact our advisors today.

2023_IPA 300