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Battling Mobile Device Security Threats
As I stated in Part 1, there's no shortage of security threats to mobile devices. Especially in the fast-paced, technology-hungry world we live in today. You can hardly blink an eye before some company is announcing the latest and greatest smart phone, laptop, or netbook. You can bet that for every new device that hits the market, ten more viruses, email worms, and rootkits make their own debut on the information superhighway. However, when dealing with mobile devices, the threats are sometimes much closer to home. Have you considered that you may be your own worst enemy?
Now don't get me wrong. We're all human. Well most of us anyway. And as humans we tend to make mistakes. After all, it's our busy lives (both private and professional) that warrant the use of the very high-tech tools we’re talking about. If you've ever lost your cell phone, PDA, or laptop, I would venture to say that your life came crashing down around you. If you're like me you were more distraught about this mishap than you would be if your credit card was stolen. So having said that, there are a few common sense rules to follow in order to maintain the status quo should your "life" (read that mobile device) suddenly disappear.
- Never store passwords or sensitive personal information (like SSNs) on a mobile device.
- Never store sensitive financial information like bank account numbers or safe deposit box numbers on a mobile device.
- If you use a wireless card on your laptop or netbook, don't share your hard drive! The same goes for smart phones running mobile operating systems like Windows Mobile or Mac OSX (iPhone). Many third party vendors offer applications for mobile operating systems that allow you to share data on the device (this means your contact list, photos, MP3s, or the above mentioned no no’s). If you use such an application, avoid using it while "mobile."
These are just a few tips that I wanted to share to at least get you thinking with the right mindset. However, accidents happen. We lose things and sometimes we’re even victimized and have something stolen out of our home, vehicle, or even the office. So what can be done to secure a mobile device so that when someone does get their hands on it, they are prevented from gaining access to the contents? That, dear reader, is the focus of Part 3: Security Options for Mobile Devices.
Mobile Device Security in the Small Business Environment: Part 2
The ability to "go mobile" is almost a necessity in today's business environment. Whether you have a simple work cell phone or a Blackberry and laptop, the convenience of having a mobile device for work purposes cannot be overstated. Consequently, securing those devices should not be overlooked.