Have you ever lost your smartphone or tablet, or maybe even your laptop? Have any of them ever been stolen?
It’s certainly not a good feeling. The number of mobile devices lost or stolen each year is in the millions.
Sure, it’s easy enough to get a replacement. Sure, they can be expensive to replace, but have you ever thought about the true value that device is worth?
The cost of the device itself is one thing, but what about the data stored on it?
Think about it… How many pictures and videos do you have? How many apps such as social media or shopping are installed? Are your debit cards, passwords, usernames or any other forms of personal information stored in these apps? Do you have documents that contain company data, personal data or data about others?
All data carries value in some form or another. Think about how much that data is worth to a hacker? It’s much, much more than the cost of the device itself, isn’t it?
Now think about how you protect that device.
Do you keep it locked up when not in use? Is it easily plucked from your back pocket in a crowded concert hall? Are the storage devices encrypted? When you travel, do you take your devices out of the country? Are you keeping them secure when you travel?
What happens when you buy a new mobile phone and they ask you to hand in your old device? What happens to that old phone and the information stored on it? Do you know?
If you find yourself unsure of the answer to some of these questions, or just need a security refresher, here are a few tips to think about to further protect your devices:
- Make sure all of your devices are password and PIN protected.
- Turn on the surface auto-lock feature whenever possible.
- Use unique passwords for each app and website you use (and make sure they aren’t easily guessable).
- Use a password manager to simplify remembering your various passwords.
- Keep your device backed up frequently.
- Set a SIM card PIN.
- Encrypt your phone or laptops storage.
- Don’t share your device with anyone, especially someone you don’t know closely.
- Use the “Find My” feature on iPhones and or Android devices to make it easier to track down misplaced, lost or stolen devices.
If you find you need additional help with any of these tips, review the instructions provided with the device and contact your device manufacturer for further support with the instructions.
Now take a moment and think about the value of your devices again. How will you change how you protect them now?
That’s a CISO perspective.
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