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We use our phones for just about everything these days — viewing websites, communicating with friends and family, taking and saving photos, making financial transactions — and of course work-related tasks — reading and sending emails, opening attachments, messaging with our team or co-workers.  And with hundreds of gigs of storage space and memory, our smart phones are a treasure trove of information.

But few businesses consider the security implications of using cell phones in relation to securing their business. Cyber-criminals know this and take advantage of it just as much as they do our business networks.  But whether it’s an intentional hack or simply a phone lost or stolen, your business data can be put at risk if you’re not taking the necessary precautions.

So how do you secure your phones?

For starters, make sure everyone is protecting access to their phone with a secure PIN or biometric logins, like face scans or fingerprints.  Teach staff to only install apps from trusted app stores to reduce the chance of installing malware or spyware and make sure they’re using Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) on all sites to protect their accounts.

Make sure your phone’s operating system is up to date, along with the apps you use.

When connecting to public wifi hotspots, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your data. It’s quite easy for the guy or gal sitting in the corner to be put up a fake wifi signal, capturing all of your data, such as your passwords, when you connect.

To really protect your business, you should consider using Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions. For company-owned devices, you can lock down devices so that employees can be prevented from going to malicious sites or prevent the installation of apps.  For personal devices, you can install a sandbox environment on the phone so that business data and apps are kept separate from personal data.  If the phone is lost or stolen, or even if the employee leaves the company, the business data can be wiped remotely, leaving the personal data untouched.

Of course, phones, personal or company-owned, should have anti-malware software running, the same as you would on your computers in the office.

Smart phones can be a great business tool, but they can also be used against your business if we take them for granted.

If you’re ready to start keeping your phones AND your business safe, get in touch.