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Improve Mobile Device Security

by qiel

The widespread adoption of the smartphone means that it is now the device used by most individuals to access the Internet. It is estimated that by the 2025 just under 75% of the global population will use the device as their primary means of accessing the Internet. 

This growth has led to mobile devices being used for a range of everyday activities, such as accessing email and social media accounts, and even conducting banking activity. As the majority of these activities tend to be carried out on mobile applications, investing in a secure by design approach during development of mobile applications is paramount to achieving a robust level of security.  

This approach protects users’ data and aids in mobile fraud prevention, and offers protection for both enterprises and end users alike. In the case of end users, this level of protection helps to prevent instances of fraud and identity theft. From brands’ perspective, protection is in place to prevent the negative impact that a data breach could have upon a company’s reputation. Even a single breach of data could have a negative long impact upon a brand due to the time spent in repairing its reputation. 

Keep reading to find out how else you can improve device security and protect personal and sensitive data on a day to day basis.

Device Accessibility

The majority of devices store an abundance of data, including messages, emails and access to social media. This is why it is essential to plan and implement a robust security solution in order to prevent unauthorised people from gaining access to the device.

The first consideration is to implement a password to ensure that only the owner is able to access the device. This could be through the use of numeric passwords or visual patterns, alternatively a further layer of security should be implemented by incorporating fingerprint authentication or even facial recognition.

Trustworthy Applications

Developers of rogue applications tend to rely on users not properly checking the source of the application and downloading it without proper due care and attention. Unfortunately, this is one of the main ways that fraudsters install malware or spyware on a device and take it over.

These issues occur across all devices and operating systems; ensure that the proper checks are conducted to confirm the permissions requested and required by the application and the data that it utilises during its operation. When assessing the behaviour of the application it is also prudent to pay attention to its reviews – checks should be conducted to ensure that those displayed are genuine.

Be Careful About What You Share

Investigate possible connections where information or data could be shared. Large numbers of users use Bluetooth to connect their phone to a device – this has the potential to lead to vulnerabilities due to people looking to identify weaknesses in both the device and application in order to gain access to the phone.

Make sure that when it is not in the use that the Bluetooth functionality is turned off, this prevents personal data from being accessed, or even damaging software being installed on the device without the user being aware.

Device Theft & Loss Protection

Making sure that the location settings are enabled on a device can prove to be decisive in its recovery in the event that it is lost or stolen. Mobile operating systems provide users with the ability to locate and find a lost phone. This means that users can identify the location of the device and recover it in the event that it is mislaid – there is also the possibility to instruct some devices to emit an alarm to help locate it, or even remove sensitive data remotely.

In the event that a device is lost and cannot be located, it is possible to block the device completely by blacklisting it on a global level. This is done by notifying the mobile operator of the IMEI number of the device and reporting it as being stolen – the phone will then be blocked by all networks around the world.

Backup Important Files

When a user loses a device, it can lead to large amounts of distress, especially if important data or files were stored on the device and a copy or backup was not previously made. This means that backups are imperative and should be performed on a regular basis.

Android and iOS devices both offer backup functionality; iCloud has the ability to perform extensive backups, whereas Android performs them by default, but they tend to be not as extensive. However, these can be enhanced and complemented by a range of mobile applications that offer more in-depth functionality.  

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