Security for Mobile and Other Handheld Devices
Cell phones. Tablets. Music players. e-Readers. Gaming devices. These days a vast array of handhold devices are available, most of which contain WiFi or wireless connectivity options. Of course with these devices comes a new, sometimes unique, set of security concerns. It’s important that you consider the safety of your personal information on whatever device you use.
Here are some tips that apply to all kinds of mobile and handheld devices:
- Turn your devices and accessories off when they’re not in use. Bluetooth is a great example of a technology that is better left off when you’re not using it.
- Don’t use a charger that doesn’t belong to you. Cables used for charging look simple enough, but they can actually be modified with microcomputers that can grab your information.
- Keep your system and software up to date. Updates often fix known security issues, so not updating can leave you vulnerable.
- Use “bumping” wisely. If you’re going to transfer information from your device to someone else’s, make sure you understand the technology first. Know what information will be shared and what security measures are taken.
- Use the location feature sparingly. If an application asks for access to the GPS system on your device, considered whether it’s really necessary for the application to do what you need it to. If not, deny the request.
- Use the auto-lock and password features. If you do leave your device unattended, an automatic lock can protect you. Setting it to lock after 5 minutes is advisable.
- Physically protect your devices. One of the worst-case scenarios is that someone steals your device altogether and has access to all of the information on it. Be mindful of the whereabouts of all of your devices. Carrying your device in a holster or the same place all the time can help.
- If available, register for a service like Apple’s “Find My iPhone” that lets you lock, track, and erase your device. If your device does get into the wrong hands, this can save you a lot of additional problems.
- Dispose of your device properly. In order to make sure that information on your device cannot be recovered, you’ll need to completely clear the device.
The rewards of using mobile and handheld devices can be great, just make sure they are not overshadowed by the risks. Use your devices as safely as possible.