Credant Technologies announced the results of its most recent survey of the number of wireless devices lost and found at 15 of the busiest shopping malls in America. Nearly 2,200 hand-held devices were lost in 2011 at just those 15 malls, and surprisingly, half of all devices (1,100) were never claimed by their owners.
With Black Friday and the official holiday shopping season weeks away, lost and unsecured mobile devices make for easy targets during the holiday season and throughout the year.
A recent survey conducted by Dimensional Research shows that 90 percent of employees use personal devices such as laptops, mobile phones and tablets for work-related purposes while consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 41 percent of smartphone users have recently purchased something online using their wireless device. With these devices being used more and more to work, shop, bank online, and to access social media websites, both corporations and consumers shouldn’t think of security as an afterthought.
Based on these results, Credant offers simple measures to protect information on wireless devices:
- Put your device away in a safe place when visiting mall facilities. A good offense is your best defense. While you’re in the food court, tuck your device into a pocket or purse, and the same rules apply for the visit to the restroom. Whatever breaking news you’re anticipating can wait until you’ve finished your meal or washed your hands.
- Password protect wireless devices with a password only you know (but can remember as well). If you think 12345 or “password’ are secure – think again. And, with social media applications, be sure your personal posted information is no longer a part of your password.
- Encrypt valuable data. Whether it’s lost or stolen, don’t count on the finder not snooping around. Whether it’s financial, health or company information, lock it down as tightly as possible, as the consequences of not doing so can be significant.
The holiday shopping season has proven to be a popular time for criminals to seek financial gain through lost or stolen mobile devices. The pervasiveness of mobile devices is wonderful for growth of business and specifically e-commerce, but at the same time it’s very important to be smart and to take a practical approach to securing the device and the data on it.