Mobile devices have become increasingly common and the markets are flooded with new applications for business and entertainment. People are using mobile devices to play games, shop, pay bills and share their thoughts via social media.
“To a consumer, cybercrime may seem a distant threat that is related to international espionage or hacking into big enterprises. However, a consumer shopping online can also be harmed. With your mobile device, you also carry a significant collection of important personal information, including your credit card number,” says Joona Airamo, CISO at Stonesoft.
Malware can be harmful to mobile devices and the information contained by a smart phone or tablet can easily get into the wrong hands. As a result, Stonesoft has provided 10 tips to ensure the secure use of mobile devices:
1. Update the mobile device’s operating system regularly. Updates are usually provided automatically. However, it is important to make sure updates are available to the operating system of the model in question when selecting a new mobile device.
2. Install programs only from reliable sources, i.e. well-known app stores such as iTunes, Google Play or Nokia Store. A game for one dollar may be available for free elsewhere, but it is also quite likely to contain malware.
3. Be careful with in-app purchases – they may become costly. For example, children may add superpowers to their game characters without understanding that each addition or upgrade may cost money. In many mobile devices, these in-app purchases can be disabled.
4. Be aware of the rights you have granted to different applications. From time to time, go through the user rights and privacy policies you have accepted. For example, the right to location information and network connection may enable an application to track location remotely.
5. Change the default access code and the PIN code of the SIM card. Do not use your birth year or other number combinations that would be too easy to guess. Set your device to request a password every time you use it.
6. If your mobile device supports data encryption, enable this capability.
7. Connect your mobile devices to an online service that can remotely locate a lost or stolen device and, if needed, perform a remote wipe to erase all data.
8. If your mobile device gets stolen, inform your operator immediately so that the use of your SIM card can be disabled and your subscription can be transferred to a new card.
9. When you are giving up your old device, erase all personal information by returning the device back to factory settings. Also, remove all information from old SIM cards and memory cards.
10. Make regular backups of all data in your mobile device. Cloud services are practical for this purpose, but do not send your employer’s information to these without permission.
In addition to the basic tips listed above, Mr. Airamo cautions that employees have obligations to their employer. “When you are using equipment provided by your employer, you should always follow the related security instructions. You should not save work-related information to your own devices unless otherwise agreed.”