We’ve talked before about how important security is if you want your business to succeed. We made sure you knew about the ways hackers might try to conquer your WordPress account and that got us thinking about the other online places we take for granted as being relatively hacker-proof but really…aren’t, like your phone.
A lot of people believe that their smartphones are incredibly safe. That’s because most people equate the word “smartphone” with “iPhone” and until recently the iPhone was thought to be virtually hacker proof.
Guess what: they aren’t. A little over a year ago, NBC News reported that researchers had managed to hack iPhone’s operating system. More recently, there is speculation over whether or not Apple worked with the NSA to allow the agency access to iPhone users’ personal information.
The news doesn’t get better for people whose smartphones are powered by the Android operating system. Why? Because the Android OS is open source.
Why does that matter? Isn’t open source a good thing?
Normally, open source is a great thing. This is software that is made available for free to anybody who wants to use it. Even better, the people who download those programs and products are free to tweak, break, and fiddle with things however they see fit. This means that it can be completely customized, which is something that most people consider a good thing.
Hackers, in particular, love it because they can download every update to the system and play with it to their hearts’ content, looking for ways to get past security barriers and into people’s phones and tablets without the user ever knowing their information has been compromised. Scary! To make matters worse for the everyday user, Google has encouraged people to look for security holes—offering to pay the hackers who successfully breach the OS in exchange for information about how they did it.
All of this means that you need to step up your security game, particularly with your mobile devices. So how do you do that?
Use Security Software
Anti-virus software isn’t just for desktop and laptop computers anymore. Make sure you have this software in place on your mobile devices too. A good Android smartphone security system (or one geared toward Apple products) is imperative, especially if you use your phone or tablet to do business.
App Security Matters Too
Most security breaches probably won’t be through the OS itself; they will be through apps. Not every app is built with security and your protection in mind. Other apps do not install with the privacy settings turned all the way up—you have to do that manually. Go through your app list and make sure that your security and privacy settings are turned up as high as they will go.
Beware the Unsecured
How often do you use a coffee shop, library or store’s Wi-Fi to access the Internet? Most of us have our phones set to seek out “free” Wi-Fi as we run our errands to minimize the amount of data we use via our plan. The problem is that using unsecured Wi-Fi networks creates a doorway into your system for other people to use (without your ever being aware of it). Make sure all of your firewalls are turned up and that you only join Wi-Fi networks on purpose.
Are we missing anything? What do you do to make sure that your mobile devices (and the information stored on and sent through them) are as safe as possible?
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