More than ever, organisations rely on devices and computerised systems to keep their business running every day. Yet it is not only PCs and computing systems that should be secure – cyber security threats aimed at mobile phone users are on the rise. Cyber Essentials is here to support and educate your organisation in cyber security protection in a constantly changing landscape of cybercrime.
Here are steps you can take now to protect your mobile or work device.
Protect your mobile – steps to take
Set strong passwords
There has been a lot of information published about the best practice for setting secure passwords. No matter what rule of thumb you use, require all employees in your organisation to choose long and complex passwords for their devices which are at least eight characters long and include a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Eradicate four-digit codes or ‘123’ combinations.
If your mobile phone or device is accessed by a cyber attacker, ensure that your password is immediately changed, to add extra precaution and prevent a similar attack happening again. If you want to find out more information, read our guide to strong passwords.
Add protection by using apps
Instruct your team to use other security features that are included within their devices. For example, Apple device users can use the ‘Find my iPhone’ feature, which helps them to locate their device if it is missing, as well as remotely erase the sensitive data on it. This feature is also available on iPads.
Android device users can log into Android Device Manager to locate their devices on a map and set up the lock and erase capabilities, much the same as Apple. By wiping the device remotely, the device will be reset to its factory-installed settings.
Should your device be misplaced or stolen, adding these apps will drastically decrease the chances of your data being accessed by a cyber attacker. Not only are they free to use, but they are also easy to set up across your organisation.
Keep software up to date
One of the simplest ways of protecting your organisation’s devices is by keeping your software up to date. When the time comes to install the latest software update, make sure you do it. These updates often include bug fixes to any holes in security or vulnerabilities.
Identify mobile scams
55% of the internet’s traffic derives from mobile devices, which makes mobiles as much of a target in cyber attacks than PCs. Therefore, it has never been more important that your staff are aware of what mobile scams look like, and the many forms they can come in.
These are copycat apps of official sites, and it’s become increasingly difficult to spot the genuine app from the fake. If downloaded, these apps can build malware onto your smartphone and access your data. Before downloading any app, do your research into the developer and read the reviews of apps that are available. Does the name of the developer match the name of the official app? Does the app look professional? Do the reviews of the app seem fabricated? Answer these questions every time you are about to download an app and train your staff to spot the difference.
Social media spam
Fake social media accounts are among the easiest to spot. As a twitter user, you may understand how annoying it is to get followed by an account with 0 followers or receive direct messages with links to click on. Facebook also has millions of fake accounts. These accounts on social media exist to provide with a space for promoting phishing links to genuine users, hoping to catch people out. Train your staff to never click on a link sent to them by a stranger.
If you receive messages from unknown numbers urging you to reply to a number or click on a link to open in your phone’s browser, chances are it is a phishing attempt. Once you click on the link or reply, the sender will be able to install malware onto your device. These text messages may be about a deal, pretending to be your bank or network provider. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
How Cyber Essentials can help
Safeguarding the mobile devices of your team is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your business.
Cyber Essentials is one of the simplest security methods to implement in your organisation. It is a government-accredited scheme which helps organisations protect themselves against 80% of the most common cyber attacks. Best of all, you can implement some of the steps to safe cyber security today.