The holidays are here.

And while Santa’s elves are busy making toys, our favorite tech manufacturers are rolling out the latest, sparkly, new gadgets.

We’ve all watched this scene unfold…

Someone reaches in their back pocket and whips out a phone, proudly announcing:

“Hey, I just picked up the newest – insert your favorite phone brand here.

A crowd gathers…

Questions are asked, pictures are displayed, stats compared.  This has become the newest form of “standing around and kicking the tires.”

But while the ooh and ahhs are still in the air, I’m hearing warning bells.

Danger! Your employees are introducing shiny new security risks into your technology solar system.

 Many businesses have strict policies regarding computer security, but they don’t apply the same protections to employees’ mobile devices. Big mistake.

Many hackers and cyberthieves find their way to business networks through employees’ phones and tablets.

To keep your business protected, you need to implement…

Steps to Secure Mobile Devices in the Workplace and Beyond

Following these steps can stop phones and tablets from becoming a hacker’s window to your company data.

  1. Keep your operating system up to date.  It’s easy to ignore that notification, but Apple and Android supply these patches when they know of a vulnerability. Updating promptly can fix security issues that you may not be aware of.
  2. Make sure the mobile device requires a password. Once a hacker has access to email or cloud storage account, they can quickly gain access to your passwords…or even company credit card.  Keep your phone and apps password protected – and please, something more challenging than 1 2 3 4.
  3. Don’t let strangers use your device.   Handing over an unlocked phone gives a stranger a complete snapshot of your personal data.  And possibly the opportunity to send themselves a nice chunk of change.
  4. Do NOT use public Wi-Fi. Ever! Using public wi-fi, especially those that come with no password protection, is opening up your data to every other person on the same network.  If you must use the public wi-fi, immediately connect to a VPN (Virtual Private Network). But really, you’re better off paying for the data.
  5. Wipe your old device before passing it on. Whether you’re trading it in or handing it down, you want to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind.  Erasing your contacts, photos, videos may be obvious to some, but don’t forget about that 2-step authentication.  That old phone is no longer a “trusted device”, so remove it from those lists.

If every employee takes steps to protect their mobile devices, you can rest easier over the holidays. And you can join in the celebration when your employees show off their shiny new toys.

Need help managing employee mobile device security, and or other IT security challenges? To discuss the possibilities and arrange a preliminary security review, schedule a free consultation at: STR FREE CONSULTATION