Smartphone Best Practices

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posted 2/23/2012 in Personal Banking

Best Practices for Keeping Mobile Data Safe

  • Use a PIN to lock your device.  Set it for at least five characters (alpha and numeric).
  • Set your smartphone to automatically lock after three minutes of non-use.
  • This may sound strange, but clean the "grease" off your screen,  Would-be hackers can look at the grease trail on the screen and determine probable patterns.
  • Encrypt your smartphone.  Some smartphones have encryption built in, but others will require optional software.  Make sure the secure digital (SD) card is encrypted as well.
  • Do not store contacts or other information on the subscriber identity module (SIM) card.  The information can be retrieved if the smartphone is locked and encrypted.
  • Turn off the Bluetooth™ auto-discover feature.  After you have teamed the smartphone to your devices, you do not want others to be able to connect to your smartphone.
  • Do not broadcast the service set identified (SSID) of your smartphone's hotspot feature.  This is called "security by obscurity."
  • Use a strong key for the Wi-Fi-protected access.  "Strong" means long (for example: 64 characters).  Use numbers, letters (uppercase and lowercase), and symbols, and do not use any words in the dictionary.  You only need to know this key long enough to type it into your computer and the smartphone.
  • Use Wi-Fi Protected Access II-Pre-shared Key (WPA2-PSK) or stronger Wi-Fi-protected access.
  • Research applications (apps) before installing them from app stores.  Some stores are good about keeping malware out, but others are not.  Read the reviews and search the internet for information about the app. You might not like what you see.
  • Do not store data on your smartphone that you cannot afford to lose.
  • Be careful what you say and who is listening while you are talking on your smartphone.  The person next to you might think your smartphone has data on it that they want.  Thieves are everywhere and can act fast.
  • If you are a company who issues company smartphones, make sure they know what to do if their smartphone is lost or stolen.
  • Install mobile device management (MDM) tools.  MDM tools manage smartphone data and security controls remotely.
  • Secure your wireless network.  Control the mobile devices that are connecting to your network.
  • Monitor device activity for data leakage and inappropriate use.
  • Use anti-malware solutions and firewalls to protect against malicious applications.