These days, more people are becoming aware of the need to keep digital data safe from hackers and viruses. In the game of cat and mouse played by hackers and companies attempting to secure your data, the consumer will always be on the defensive. No technology will ever provide an amount of security that allows us to rest for very long. For the foreseeable future, data security will need to be an active part of how we live our lives.
But security is not just a single thing we do on a single machine – one and done. Security cannot be dispatched that simply. Every time we use an internet connected device whether at a desk or on the go, we are entering a danger-rich environment. For most people, the primary computing platform is mobile. Mobile can be anything from a laptop to a smartphone. Tablets would also be included.
Securing a mobile device is a very different challenge than securing something stationary inside a home or office. Here are some of the challenges of securing your data when mobile, and how to overcome them:
Play It Safe with Device Protection
Your data is never more vulnerable than when it is in the hands of a repair shop specialist. Something as common as a screen repair puts all your data at risk in ways you simply cannot control. In part, that is because you have to give up your access code so they can turn on the device and be sure the repair was successful without damaging other functionality.
Even if you can do it without giving up an unlock code and email address, physical access is really all a hacker needs to get at your data. They have the device, and all the time they need to crack whatever security you think you have. The best defense is to keep your device free from damage in the first place.
The best and easiest way to do that with a smartphone is with a good case. Protective cases for iPhone 8 are in demand because of Apple’s decision to make both the front and the back out of glass. There were good reasons for this such as the wireless charging which works well with glass. But that means the iPhone 8 is more prone to damage when dropped.
By keeping your phone safe from damage, you will be going a long way toward protecting the data on the device.
Play It Safe with Apps
You can buy apps to secure your smartphone better. But that is only one part of the app equation. The other part has to do with the apps you download that do things behind the scenes that may be perfectly legal but are detrimental to your data security all the same. These apps do their damage by exploiting app permissions.
Many companies want access to your camera, your microphone, your address book, and other places in your phone that contain sensitive data. Users click through without considering why that type of app would want that type of access. And if you can’t come up with a good reason for it, you should not grant access.
Some apps will not work unless you grant permission. Most will work up to the point that they need the access, at which time, you can grant the access. No app is important enough to compromise your security. So think twice before saying yes to a dialog box seeking permission it really shouldn’t need.
Play It Safe with Your Connection
Every part of the data chain is ripe for exploitation. That is especially true for your connection to the internet. The safest thing to do, especially when you travel, is to connect to the internet through a virtual private network (VPN).
A private network is like the one in your office where you connect to the company intranet to access all your files. A VPN is that, except for when you are on the go. Always avoid open WiFi access points. Public WiFi is also available to the bad guys. It is not a safe place for your secure data.
Secure your mobile data by playing it safe by protecting against damage to your devices, app permissions, and insecure WiFi connections.