Cybersecurity Tips: Smarten-Up Your Smart Phone

Cybersecurity Tips: Smarten-Up Your Smart Phone

October 4, 2021

Jennifer Moreno

It seems unreal that cybersecurity has been around for 50 years, but it’s true. And as the cyberthreats have evolved and multiplied, cybersecurity must become a top priority for every business, organization, and team member. Over the past 18 months, the COVID-19 health crisis has also forced many organizations to lean heavily into digital operations, making it now more important than ever to protect your cyberspace as part of both your business and personal plans.

Stress personal accountability. Help yourself and your organization’s team members to #BeCyberSmart by taking simple actions to help secure your digital lives. Especially if your organization has adopted any form of hybrid between professional and personal devices and spaces.

Smart Devices 101

  1. Use a Complex PIN, Pattern, Password, or Biometric Login

With a lot of criminals, the attack is not personal but rather one of opportunity. Don’t make it easy for a cybercriminal to easily open your device on the one day you lost your Pixel. If your device uses a numbered pin—or pattern—to login, make sure it’s more complex than “3,3,3,3†or a simply-shaped pattern. After all, neither are difficult to discern from a few rows back or a few tables over, wherever you are. Implement a complex PIN, pattern, password, or biometric login on your company and personal devices—if available. When possible, opt-in to multi-factor authentication and encryptions. Set up your cybersecurity gatekeepers.

  1. Do Not Use Public WiFi Networks

Tempting as it may be to hop onto airport WiFi or café networks, opt instead to use your own personal hotspot or provide mobile hotspot devices for your travelling team members. Free public networks are prime hunting grounds for hackers who know the networks will host many unsuspecting users throughout a given day, users who may unwittingly provide access to sensitive business and personal data. All a hacker has to do is wait…

Also, make sure your personal iPhone and company devices are set to “ask permission†to join WiFi networks, instead of connecting automatically.

  1. Keep Your Device Updated

Regularly opt-in to security and software updates provided by your organization’s device developers. These updates for iPhones and Androids often include reinforcements for your device’s cybersecurity—bug-fixes and patches to vulnerabilities that the developer has discovered.

  1. Use Discernment Before Downloading Apps

Occupancy in the App Store or on Google Play doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a high-quality app. While both Apple and Google implement rigorous security testing to keep harmful apps out of their stores, some apps aren’t necessarily trying to crash your device, but rather are after gaining access to your sensitive business or personal data. Or, with the dollar signs of your purchase in sight, some simply oversell capabilities, but once downloaded exhibit less-than-advertised performance and provide low-grade support.

Before Downloading an App:

  • Always use an official app store provided by your device manufacturer, or by your organization.
  • Review the app’s highest and lowest ratings to get the real story.
  • Review privacy and data sharing settings of the app.
  • Check for a recent app update to make sure the developer is still supporting the app’s performance and vulnerabilities.
  1. Backup Essential Data

Be a cybersecurity pro and always, always have a backup for essential data on your organization’s devices—and for personal devices connected to your organization’s network, in case your IT team needs to remotely wipe your device. Backups take most of the pain out of a compromised, lost, or stolen device, and in situations where a remote-wipe is needed. For cloud backups, ensure you know where the data is being stored, as well as your data privacy rights on specific platforms.

Take Simple Actions, Stay Secure

Taking simple actions helps secure your personal digital life and your organization’s as a whole—and keeps you both from becoming easy targets. As businesses lean further into the digital sphere, the question of experiencing a cyber-attack is no longer if but when. Some cybersecurity businesses have estimated the impact of cybercrime will reach to trillions of dollars in the near future. Make sure you and your organization are ready to meet the threat when it comes.♦

Questions on Cybersecurity?

Let the experts at REDW get you and your organization one step ahead of the curve—two, if we can help it. Contact REDW Cybersecurity Consultant Jennifer Moreno, CISA, to ask a simple question or to get strategizing on innovative IT solutions for your team.

P.S. You have an IoT Device, you just didn’t know it… Learn more about the Internet of Things (IoT).

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