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Mobile Device Security

If your phone is not secure, what information can someone access through it? What accounts can be accessed through your phone without needing a password? What personal data is stored on it?

Take time to think about what a stolen phone could mean for you. Physically replacing will cost money but it can also cost you a lot of headaches and effort. Make sure to protect yourself from what could happen if your phone is stolen.

4 Steps to a Smarter Phone

  1. Set a password on your device.

    Because your phone may be setup to automatically access personal accounts, a malicious user can pick up your phone and start using these applications as if they were you, finding out your account balances or searching through e-mail for personal information.

    Tip: Reference the device user manual on how to set a password for you mobile device.

  2. Install GPS locator software for your phone.

    GPS isn't just for cars anymore. You may be able to install GPS software on your phone, which can help you find the phone if it's lost or stolen. Some programs allow you to disable your phone remotely, rendering it useless to a thief. At the very least, the software would help you provide a location to the authorities. You should not attempt to recover your phone yourself.

    Some recommendations:

    Fonehome for IPhone or Android (Fee)
    Berrylocator for Blackberry devices (Fee)
    LoJack for Laptops (Fee)

  3. Install AV/Spyware software

    Yes, mobile devices can be infected by viruses and spyware. Although not as common as computer viruses, phone viruses are increasing and pose a threat to your mobile device. Antivirus software can prevent infection when visiting a questionable website or opening an unknown attachment.

    Recommendation: Lookout  is free and comes with GPS locator software. It works with Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile. Norton, Kasperky, and Smobile provide mobile security software for a fee.

  4. Don’t install un-trusted applications

    With so many applications available for mobile devices, malicious users target new applications by providing software that can allow backdoor access to your mobile device. Just like a Trojan horse, an application might be tempting but always take the time to check out the source of the application before installing it. Install applications that come from a trusted distributor and is signed by the author.