Own IT: 5 Best Practices for Device Apps

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Owning one’s online presence is no longer limited to keeping tabs only on your desktop computer or the websites you visit. Our ability to connect practically anywhere at anytime through a mobile device means that security guidelines should also be applied whenever we are accessing data or information. Whether using a phone, tablet, or other device for business or personal use these 5 mobile security best practices apply.

User Authentication

The first step in protecting your mobile device, and the data it holds, is requiring user authentication before access can be granted.  Mobile devices should require the user to input a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or some other password form in order to unlock the home screen. Setting a PIN ensures that the data within the device is protected should the device get lost, stolen, or otherwise fall into the wrong hands.  

Keep Operating System Up to Date

Your mobile operating system (Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone) make regular updates available to users. When a security vulnerability is identified, the operating system will push out an update to all devices which will resolve the security threat. Aside from security, regular operating system updates enhance device performance by providing new options and features that are available to users. Ensure your device is configured to receive automatic updates, or make sure you manually update your devices and apps on a regular basis.   

Back Up Your Mobile Device Regularly

Backing up the data on your mobile device on a regular basis will make it possible to retrieve and restore the data if your device is lost or stolen. Having your data backed up automatically from your device to the cloud or another hard drive is recommended so that the most current version of the data can be retrieved, if necessary.

Encryption is Your Friend

Data encryption, the process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it, has long been used as a method to achieve secure communication. Encryption is used in conjunction with a virtual private network (VPN) to protect confidential digital data that is transmitted over the internet. As we covered in “Own IT: Updating and Managing Your Online Privacy,” it is best to avoid public Wi-Fi and use a VPN, whenever necessary.

Disable Wi-Fi When You Don’t Need It

Disabling connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, when you are not using them helps limit the access hackers have to your device. When Wi-Fi is enabled but not in use, it creates a path for potential hackers and opens your device to vulnerabilities. Securing this feature when not in use helps keep intruders at bay.

Today’s mobile environment gives us unprecedented access to information when we need it. With this privilege comes responsibility to protect it. The technology experts at AJTC can help you keep your data safe.  Contact AJTC today to learn more about IT security and other services. You may also visit AJTC here or call 708.942.8200.

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