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The Confident SMB

Protect Your Mobile Devices This Holiday Season

Created: 16 Dec 2010
Blake M's picture
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This holiday season, it is very likely that your company information will be traveling with your employees on mobile devices and laptops.

According to a recent Symantec mobile security survey, 68 percent of survey respondents ranked loss or theft as their number one mobile device security concern, while 56 percent said mobile malware is their number two concern. So, in response to this data, Symantec has created a few tips for small businesses to share with employees to ensure company information is protected this holiday season.

Keep your device close at all times. When traveling, make sure that your smartphone is close to your body and that your laptop is never far from reach – yours that is. It is also a good idea to make sure you can differentiate your device from others on the security belt, or anywhere else for that matter. Whether it is a sticker or cool case, you will be happy that you can recognize your device and won’t be grabbing someone else’s, or the other way around.

Pack smart. Ensure your mobile device is equipped with security safeguards. We have all been there – rushing through security to try and make our flight, but wait – you left your smartphone and laptop behind on the security belt! Okay – don’t panic – hopefully the fact that you forgot your device crosses your mind before you board your flight. In case it doesn’t, be sure that your mobile device is both password protected and encrypted. That way, if your device is actually stolen, and not turned into lost and found (so much for holiday spirit), the rip-off artist will have a hard time accessing your device. Many software applications allow you to do a remote wipe of your smartphone to ensure that nobody will get their grimy paws on your businesses’ information.

Pay attention. With the business of the holidays, it is easy to forget about security – you may be thinking of your to-do list, your destination or maybe even sugar plums. Whatever the case may be, make sure that you are aware of your surroundings, and that would-be criminals are not looking over your shoulder trying to get a glimpse of your information. We are certainly not saying that you need to be worried about airport lurkers at every corner, but it is a good idea to be alert and pay attention to those around you.

Oh my – free Wi-Fi! According to the same mobile security survey mentioned above, 62 percent of respondents said they expect to access sensitive data on their mobile device while away from the office during the holiday season. Make sure your employees are educated before they leave the office and practicing safe surfing at airports and their final holiday destination. Wi-Fi hotspots at airports and cafes can be a breeding ground for malware. Once again, security education and software are essential to keeping your business information safe while your employees are accessing wireless networks while traveling.

By following these easy-to-remember tips, we hope that you and your business information travels safe this holiday season. The last thing you want after celebrating the New Year is to come back to the office with a list full of IT headaches.