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August 3, 2017

Understanding Mobile Cyber Threats

Today we’re talking about security threats that target mobile devices, and how to lower the risks they pose to businesses.

Cyber threats have begun targeting mobile devices more frequently as smartphones and tablets become part of our daily lives.

They store the same valuable personal and professional information found on our laptops and desktops and the same security precautions need to be applied.

 

Six tips to protect mobile devices:

1) Beware of mobile apps
Mobile apps may send personal, and sometimes corporate data to remote servers where it can be mined by unknown third parties. These apps are usually only allowed to collect and distribute such information after a user gives the application sweeping permissions. Be careful to only give your mobile apps the permissions that are absolutely necessary, and be wary of any mobile app that insists on permissions that don’t seem relevant.

2) Use caution when connecting to open networks
Network spoofing occurs when hackers set up fraudulent networks your mobile device can connect to. They’re usually designed to look like free Wi-Fi networks and given generic names. Some may ask you to input email information or to “create an account” that requires you to create a password. Unsurprisingly, people often recycle a password they commonly use for other logins. Remember to never enter personal information when connecting to an open Wi-Fi network, and to use an original password when an account set up is required.

3) Educate employees about phishing attacks
The same phishing attacks that threaten Desktops and Laptops threaten mobile devices as well. Never open or click through an unfamiliar email. Most companies warn employees of the potential dangers they pose, but many people don’t treat their phones with the same caution as professional computers. It’s important to remind all employees and coworkers to treat their mobile devices like any other computer. Most of the same threats apply.

4) Use antivirus software
Antivirus software is just as effective on a mobile device as any other type of computer. If employees are using any mobile device for professional purposes, the same level of security needs to be applied as an office desktop.

5) Stay up to date on operating system patches
Updating smartphones and tablets whenever a new patch becomes available is crucial. Outdated operating systems can leave mobile devices more vulnerable to modern cyber threats.

6) Insist on unique password protection
This one’s easy, but it needs to me said. Every single mobile device should require a security code, and those codes should be unique to their devices. The same rules apply to any other computer. A password needs to be provided to access the information and applications on any device designated for personal or professional use.

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