Mobile Phones for Small Businesses

Protecting Your Mobile Phone

Mobile phones, being small and frequently valuable, are an easy and tempting target. In the UK a mobile phone is stolen around every three minutes. In addition to the traditional risks like theft and loss, mobiles are also at risk from electronic attacks. When working away from the office it is important for you and your employees to be aware of the risks and take all possible measures to protect your equipment and your business information.

The risks:

  • Theft or loss
  • Disclosure of private contacts
  • Disclosure of confidential business information
  • Fraudulent use of your account
  • The growing risk of smart phone viruses
  • Accessing private information over a wireless network
  • Fraudulent use of your data connection over a Bluetooth link

Precautions

  • Stay alert when using your phone in a busy area. This is when most phones are stolen.
  • Never leave equipment unattended in a public place or in your car.
  • In hotels make use of safes in rooms or receptions to store valuable equipment and information when not in use.
  • Do not have confidential conversations on your mobile in public places.
  • Avoid displaying any sensitive information, for example on a PDA screen, in a public place.
  • Use the phone’s security lock code or PIN to stop anyone else using it.
  • Take a note of each phone’s IMEI number as this is required by the mobile phone operator to bar the handset if it gets lost or stolen (type *#06# into your handset to get the IMEI number).
  • Back up valuable information.
  • Ensure all your business equipment is adequately insured.

Network providers offer insurance packages and secure information solutions. For example, data can be remotely wiped if a mobile device is lost or stolen.

Safe use of Bluetooth

  • If you have Bluetooth capability but don’t use it, switch it off.
  • Create secure trusted links between devices. Do this in private in case someone is scanning you while you create the connection.
  • Do not accept files transmitted via Bluetooth from unknown or suspicious sources.
  • If you lose a Bluetooth enabled device, delete the pairing from the rest of your devices in case a hacker tries to use it to make a connection.

Phone viruses

Security experts believe that phone bugs will eventually become as big a nuisance as Windows viruses. Most viruses spread using Bluetooth. There is also a risk in downloading and installing software from the internet.

  • Only smart phones can be affected by phone viruses
  • Use Bluetooth safely (see above)
  • Only download applications from trusted sites
  • Anti-virus software for mobile phones is now available
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