Keeping One Step Ahead of the Next Threat

One in three people don't set a password on their phone.  We know you of course have a password on your phone but just in case keeping yourself one step ahead of the next threat or avoiding those currently doing the rounds is all about these few common sense precautions.

11 February 2016 Security  Smartphones & Tablets, Windows PCs

Keyboard, Coding, Hands - Article

Media headlines have been awash with businesses being hacked and customer data compromised. As these rising security issues gather momentum, there’s never been a better time to highlight how people are putting their information at risk. Modern facilities on machines mean that there’s often far more at stake than losing just contacts and documents if a machine is stolen or lost, and even if you’re not using your phone to access the internet or store sensitive data, you could still be at risk if not properly protected.

One in three people don't set a password on their phone.  We know you of course have a password on your phone but just in case keeping yourself one step ahead of the next threat or avoiding those currently doing the rounds is all about these few common sense precautions.

Your phone

Recent research has shown that 37% of smartphone users in the UK do not set up password security on mobile phones. As mobile phones are the most popular device for getting online over the laptop or tablets due to their mobility. The reasons for security are obvious, if a phone is lost, stolen or simply left unattended, anyone with access will have unrestricted access to your data. This could involve data being stolen, phone calls being made or unwanted services being registered for, and could result in considerable financial cost.

Use a PIN/key lock code

There are a number of ways to protect a smartphone. Many new phones offer a ‘pattern lock’ a personalised pattern that is drawn on the screen to gain access, and this is often faster and less painful than entering a password. Alternatively a PIN code offers a numeric alternative to a standard password and can also save time. Clearly a weak password that is easy to guess and is less secure so avoid “1234”, “password” and other common phrases "Star Wars".

A screen lock is useful but won’t stop someone from removing your SIM card and using it on another phone. To prevent this from happening, set up a SIM card lock in the form of a PIN number that will need to be entered when a phone is turned on in order to connect to a network.

Your computer

If you have a PC, the risk of it being lost or stolen is reduce as it doesn’t have a mobile use but laptops have just the same vulnerability as your mobiles.

There are a number of way to protect your Laptop/PC, so that your data isn’t compromised;

  • All machines should be encrypted.
  • All machines should be password enabled to access the operating system.
  • All machine should have Anti-Virus software installed.
  • Store machines in a secure environment when unattended.

For all devices be sure to remember these key data security tips;

  • Don’t store sensitive information in an easily readable form
  • Make sure your web browsers do not remember your passwords or store cookies
  • Back up your machine\phone data often
  • Do not leave your laptop\phone in a publicly accessible place
  • Be cautious of what software and applications you install
  • Be aware of anything that looks slightly suspicious, better to be safe than to have lost all of your sensitive information.

That's a wrap

With these security measures in place, you can at least be safe in the knowledge that if your computer or phone is stolen it will be of very little use to the average thief.

Tags  security

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