We tote our devices in pockets, bags and purses without considering the security of our data and how someone might get access to our phones. The winter season chaos is near-guaranteed with work and family events, travel, holiday crowds, the occasional mulled wine and ever-fluctuating clothing layers to go along with the temperature changes. Whether you’re using iOS or Android, these are our top five tips for steps you can take today for better smartphone security going into 2020.
Passwords, Not Fingerprints or Iris Scans
Although fingerprints are unique, they are surprisingly easily lifted to be used to login to a person’s phone. High-resolution photos can trick iris scans, and with changing security policies for travel, border agents in some countries are taking greater liberties in accessing devices. A complex password is your first barrier to keep unwanted eyes out of your device.
Conclusion: Passwords are your best option as there is currently no way to brute force phone login passwords. Set a startup password that is more than four characters long, alphanumeric & not an actual word in a dictionary in any language.
Install a Two-Factor Authentication App
In the modern cybersecurity ecosystem, two-factor authentication has become critical – a single password is not enough. A second line of defence will prevent someone who has entered your phone from accessing your email, social media and other sensitive items. If you believe SMS two-factor is a high enough bar, you might want to ask Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who had their Twitter account hacked this year and other victims of Sim swaps and password attacks.
Conclusion: Setup two-factor authentication on every account, without exception, using an authentication app.
It’s safe to say that nearly all of us have experienced a lost or broken phone. Losing all media, contacts, and text messages on a device, or paying for costly data retrieval makes you realize how much backups matter. If you are not already doing so, turn on backups before the holidays.
Android Solution: Use Google photos sync, as well as Android backup.
Apple Solution: Turn on your iCloud backups. 5GB is provided at no cost with a reasonably low fee to upgrade if you need it.
Still not a frequent topic of discussion, there is a surprising and accelerating amount of malware targeting smartphones. While many people don’t have smartphone antivirus installed, you absolutely should.
Android Solution: Google Play Protect – it should be turned on automatically. You can click here for a how-to and confirm it is running.
Apple Solution: Avira Mobile Security is a comprehensive free Antivirus app for iOS with a solid reputation.
Find My Phone
Although this is a standard feature, a lot of phones that we come across don’t have it activated. This easy step saves unnecessary worrying about a forgotten phone at a friend or family member’s homes over the holidays. If someone does steal your phone, Find My Phone apps will allow you to log out of the phone or wipe it remotely to keep your data safe.
Android Solution: Check that Find My Device is turned on with these four steps.
Apple Solution: Find My will show your phone and any other devices associated with your account wherever they are/last were online.
When you secure your device in these ways you protect not just yourself, but also those you engage with through your smartphone. These five steps will get you 95% of the way there and ahead of the curve for smartphone security. For fully comprehensive security solutions for your business, reach out to Fusion Computing.