Today, most of us rely on our mobile phones for email, online banking, online shopping, social media, photo storage, and many other useful apps. With this, we need to be aware that our mobile devices hold a lot of our personal information – and for many, confidential corporate information. These devices are constantly on the move with us, being exposed to different networks and other devices, and they are more likely to be lost or stolen than most other devices we own.
Mobile device theft represents one of the fastest-growing attack surfaces for cybercriminals. Over 70 Million phones are lost each year, with only 7 percent recovered.
See below for some tips that will help protect your personal and corporate information should your device be stolen and successfully hacked.
- Use strong passwords, fingerprint, or face ID: Doing this will make it difficult for attackers to gain access to the sensitive information and services on your phone if they get a hold of it.
- Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use: When Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections are not in use our phone is still broadcasting information and even attempting to make connections with other devices over those interfaces. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they aren't needed.
- Be careful what apps you download and what services you allow them access: There are apps out there that include malware making it easier for an attacker to access your device. So do some research and ensure that the apps you download are trustworthy. Avoid downloading apps that do not originate from your device’s official store, and be sure to delete any app that you no longer need.
- Mind where you plug in your phone: The plug used to charge your mobile device could provide more than just power. It could also be used to install malware on your device, or it could be a high-speed data link, meaning that anything can be transmitted over that line including personal data.
- Always apply software updates in a timely manner when made available. These updates include the latest security patches.
- Enable phone tracking features such as Find my iPhone, which allows users to locate their iOS devices using either the iOS app or iCloud on a computer. Also, consider enabling features that will wipe your phone's contents if it is lost or stolen.