Nov 17 2014

Securing Your Mobile Device

Simple enough thought, right? Every day before I leave my house or my desk, I make sure my cell phone is with me. I don’t want to risk physically being away from it, because it is an important tool in my day-to-day business life.

As a condition of having my cell phone, I am asked to use mobile device management (MDM) software on it. One reason is that the software allows the IT staff responsible for supporting mobile users to remotely wipe any corporate-sensitive data, or otherwise limit what corporate data is even saved to the device. In addition, I am required to have a passcode on the phone, or else I am not allowed to access any corporate information (ie, no emails).  Working with the MDM package, we are also restricted in terms of how long before a passcode is required.

Many times, you might think this is a pain, in terms of frequently having to re-enter your password to unlock your phone. But try losing your phone once, just once, and you will likely be extremely thankful that your phone’s data is hard to access, if not impossible.
To underscore the importance of, if nothing else, a password on your cell phone, check out this social experiment conducted by Symantec in Canada, They intentionally “lost” 60 smartphones across Canada. And while more than half of the phones were offered to be returned, the vast majority of the devices were accessed and information was looked over. If that had been your phone, with sensitive data or personal information on it, odds are someone else had eyes on it before you ever would have even gotten a call to return it to you.

Bet you don’t think that a password on your cell phone is such a bad idea anymore, do you?