August 16, 2017
Increased Use of Mobile Devices Puts Consumer Data at Risk
Mobile devices make life convenient – or at least that’s what they’re supposed to do. As millions of consumers utilize their mobile devices to complete daily activities, hackers have switched their agenda to cash in on this huge opportunity. Every time you use your cell phone, tablet, or laptop to log into accounts, complete transactions, send emails, conduct research, or use an application your data is at risk. Though most consumers are aware of the potential threat, many are oblivious until something terrible happens to them.
Cybercrimes cost the country billions of dollars each year. Consumers and businesses alike are left to foot the bill as they pick up the pieces and try to regain some normalcy. Unless you want to find yourself on the bad end of the deal, getting prepared is your only option.
What to Do if You’ve Been Compromised?
There are some that try as hard as they may to protect their personal and company data but end up getting compromised somehow. As you might imagine, hackers are always coming up with new methods of retrieving information making it harder for consumers and companies to hide it. While it is important to still take precautions, knowing what to do if your data has been compromised can speed up the recovery process.
· Determine what data was lost.
· Change passwords to all accounts
· Contact financial institutions, credit card companies, the credit bureau, and if you’re a business owner, informing your customers of the breach is a must.
· Consider data recovery solutions like mobile phone forensics, by which you can retrieve stolen data from a mobile device.
· If your identity has been stolen, contact the Federal Trade Commission, place fraud alerts on credit cards, and correct any fraudulent credit reports.
How to Protect Your Mobile Data?
Remember, everything you enter into your mobile device can be compromised at any moment. Though there are ways to recover data, restore your company reputation, and regain your identity, it is a lot of work and cost more than it does to take the extra steps to minimize your risks. Here are some tips:
· Ditch the apps – Get rid of unused or suspicious applications that could be tracking information.
· Perform updates – Make sure your phone regularly does application updates that include security enhancements.
· Use applications responsibly – Log out of applications completely to ensure no one else can gain access. Also, only access sensitive information on a secure network.
· Lock your phone – Use a locking method for your devices such as fingerprint unlock, password protection, or face recognition.
· Beware of public Wi-Fi – Minimize the use of your mobile device on public Wi-Fi connections as others can steal your information.
· Use mobile encryption – Encrypt sensitive data like personal accounts, emails, and company documents to prevent hackers from decoding it should it get hacked.
· Be mindful of Bluetooth capabilities – Turn off Bluetooth access on your mobile device to prevent hackers from getting remote access to your phone data.
· Data backup is a must – Frequently back up all of your data to cloud storage accounts.
· Be wise with passwords – Periodically change your password and ensure that they are easy to crack. Steer clear of using your name, birthdate, or other easily identifiable information. Be mindful of who you provide passwords to. Employers should be sure to change passwords frequently if employees are fired to ensure there’s no access later.
· Clear devices completely – Wipe your device clean if you intend to upgrade or sell the old one.
· Get antivirus protection – Invest in antivirus protection for all mobile devices.
While mobile technology is certainly taking a front stage in this modern world, it doesn’t come without some risks. Though having remote access to the things you do on a regular basis is very convenient, both consumers and businesses need to be mindful of how this data can essentially be used to cause a lot of harm. Recovering from a data breach can be extreme and an often long road for consumers, the best way to handle the matter is to have a data security plan as well as a backup plan should your information be compromised.