Safer Internet Day (8 February 2022) is observed all around the world and is an initiative to highlight emerging issues online, how to use the web responsibly and to stop people from having their data compromised.
Today, we’d like to raise awareness of how mobile devices can pose risks of a cyber breach. Running your business on a phone or tablet? How can you make yourself as safe as possible on the internet?
Many of us rely on our mobile technology, whether it be a smart phone or tablet, to keep our businesses going, to store data, to provide a timely response to queries, and just for the convenience of keeping up to date with any developments. The way these devices have developed, they can be as powerful as traditional computers, but far easier to lose or protect what they contain.
The National Cyber Security Centre offers five basic tips to small businesses to keep mobile devices secure:
1. Password protection. Use a complex password or PIN to prevent unauthorised access to your phone. Many devices now have fingerprint and facial recognition which can be simply activated and provide additional security.
2. Ensure you can track your device and remotely wipe if stolen. You are much more likely to lose your device when away from home or the office, but there are tools available that can track your device, remotely lock and erase your device, and allow you to recover data you had stored from the cloud. Make sure you set up your devices to take advantage of these options.
3. Regularly update your software. Operating system updates are regularly released which can contain critical security updates. You can often set your device to automatically update.
4. Keep your apps up to date. Just like your operating software, your apps should also be updated when ‘patches’ are available. It won’t just be new features on the update, but again critical security updates to keep your phone safe.
5. Don’t connect to unknown Wi-Fi hotspots. Treat public wi-fi with caution, whether in a coffee shop or a hotel. There is no easy way to know who controls the hotspot, and there is the potential for criminals to access your device, what you are working on, and private login details. If you need to connect to the internet then consider using your 3G or 4G mobile network, or use a wireless dongle, or a reputable virtual private network (VPN), which will encrypt your data before it is sent to the internet.
As a small business owner taking these simple steps reduces your vulnerability to an attack. They are also good practice to follow for personal devices so spread the word to family and friends.
If you’d like more assistance with keeping your devices safe, we offer a free membership package as well as affordable services for a more in-depth look at your business and how we can help improve your cyber resilience further. Contact us to arrange a chat?