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Protecting your mobile device

28 February 2013

Mobile device usage is on the rise with most of us carrying at least one smartphone, tablet or BlackBerry. While the cost of devices comes down every year, the amount of data each one stores increases. Think of all the email attachments, photos, documents, passwords stored on your devices and what would happen if you lost them? Or worse, if someone got access to them all?

The mobile threat landscape is also evolving. Simply put, the bad guys now focus their attention and resources on compromising mobile devices, because this is where the information is going. Our mobile devices now hold our most sensitive, personal data. If your mobile device is infected; an attacker might spam your friends, track your location with GPS, direct your phone to call premium numbers, or even record your conversations.

But all is not lost! Here are some steps you can take to make sure your devices are protected against the latest threats:

·         Be vigilant and never leave your devices unattended.

·         Set up a password, PIN or unlock pattern on your devices. Be sure to shield the screen or keypad when typing your password.

·         Download only reputable applications from reliable sources.

·         Update to the latest version of software for your devices as soon as it prompts you to.

·         Turn on device encryption if this feature is available on your devices (on a recent iPhone or iPad, this automatically happens if you set a PIN).

·         Back up your device to your computer often (e.g. every couple of days).

·         Don't store sensitive information on your device (e.g. account number, PIN, passwords).

·         Lastly, be mindful of what other people might be reading over your shoulder.

Mobile devices do offer the convenience of accessing our data anytime, anywhere but as users of this technology, we need to do our part to stay secure.