Smartphones have come to play an important role in the workplace. They’re one of the most crucial tools we use to accomplish tasks because you can work on them anytime, anywhere. However, their importance means that mobile phones have become a significant security risk, even in small-business environments. Hackers can launch malware attacks on smartphones that can steal mission-critical company data.
This sounds like a frightening scenario, but small-business owners can take steps to guard their smartphones and the data stored upon them against threats, especially if they’re Androids (one of the most popular platforms on the market). Use safety tactics such as not downloading apps from unauthorized sources or clicking on suspicious links, download antivirus software, and keep your security settings up to date.
Safety Tactics Aren’t Just for Computer Usage
How many times have you read articles about staying safe online when using your PC or Mac or heard a cyber security expert on TV talking about tips you can take to protect your computer from threats such as malware? Quite often, we’d imagine.
The same advice applies to mobile devices, though not everyone is aware of that fact. As mobile device usage grows, and as more people access the internet from those devices, the more appealing they become to hackers. There are many malware programs lurking out there, waiting to infiltrate your phone.
How can you safeguard the phone that’s instrumental in running your small business?
- For a start, don’t click on pop-up windows containing suspicious links. The chances are high you’ll be inviting malware onto your system.
- Secondly, don’t click on a link in an email or social media message that sounds suspicious. Unless your best friend has developed a sudden interest in gold mining, the message is most likely fake.
- Thirdly, don’t download apps from anywhere else aside from the official app store. Apps from other sources have a higher likelihood of being infected.
Use Antivirus Software to Defend Your Phone Against Malware
Antivirus software isn’t just for PCs or Macs. You can use it to keep your phone safe from threats such as malware. It’s easy to load this software onto your Android device, too.
There are a few ways that antivirus software protects your phone from malware. Let’s say you lose your phone. An enterprising thief might have taken it, or you may have left it somewhere without realizing it. The end result is the same — your phone is now vulnerable because someone could hack into it. Antivirus software enables you to remotely lock or wipe your phone so no one else can access or tamper with valuable company data.
Antivirus software also blocks malware before it can begin to rob your phone of its information. This is especially important if you store vital business data on it or use your phone to view that data. In addition, this software prevents you from inadvertently installing infected apps on your phone so they can’t steal your company’s information.
Install Updates Frequently
As with safety tactics and antivirus software, installing updates isn’t just something you do on a computer. If you want to keep your phone safe, you can’t simply ignore notifications telling you that you need to download a patch or install an update.
Why is installing updates (and doing so frequently) so critical to defending your phone against malware? It has to do with the nature of software. Device and software vendors release operating systems. Eventually, hackers find a way to infiltrate those systems and create malware to target them. Vendors respond by releasing updates and patches to fix those vulnerabilities so that customers aren’t at risk. It’s vital to the safety of your small business’ data to keep your phone’s operating system up to date.
Not sure if there’s an update for your smartphone available? Go to Settings, click on the About Phone option, and then select System Updates. That will tell you if there are any updates you need to install.
Using your smartphone to help you run your small business is convenient. It doesn’t have to put you at risk for malware, though. Shielding your phone from threats gives you peace of mind and lets you focus on running your company.