Keeping Data On Your Smartphones Safe | InfoLore Ltd

Smartphones… those lovely devices that are convenient, small, portable and integral to our connected lives. However, what we often forget is how they are also packed full of risk. You should realise by now the importance of GDPR compliance, and smartphones should be considered within your data protection audit.

Data Risks

Whether you own a smartphone (who doesn’t these days?!), or have been given one for work use, clear guidelines should be established to minimise the risks of using it. It is your responsibility to keep it secure, and if the phone is lost or stolen, the data it holds is also lost or stolen along with it.

What businesses need to do

There are significant privacy risks when it comes to using business smartphones. The phones should be managed by the firm, and they should enforce encryption, password protection rules and a security policy. Remember, if the smartphone falls into the wrong hands, all the information is readily available if the device is not kept secure.

Any risk resulting from using a smartphone becomes the same risk to the organisation. Some of these risks include: employees disabling security features, storing unencrypted data in the wrong place, losing the phone, not considering who emails are sent to, and finally downloading Apps which contain bugs.

When giving employees smartphones, businesses need to be sure that staff are fully aware of the consequences of data being lost or getting into the wrong hands.

So how can you keep your smartphone secure?

Here are some top tips on how to keep the data held on your smartphone secure, and at lower risk from data being leaked:

  • Use existing security functions on the device (don’t override them)
  • Use both a screen lock and a SIM card lock
  • Guard your phone by setting PINs and passwords
  • Pay attention when downloading apps – install from approved sources and use recognised App stores
  • Be aware of what permissions you are granting
  • Limit your use of voice control
  • Don’t use free open Wi-Fi networks, and switch of your wireless connection when not in use
  • Protect bluetooth use
  • Turn off geotagging
  • Be aware of costs, particularly for roaming and in-app purchases
  • Treat your phone as your wallet
  • Back up and secure your data
  • Use software to find or erase your phone if it goes missing
  • Regularly clear out the apps you don’t use
  • Accept software updates and patches from your mobile provider
  • Report any theft or loss straight away
  • When transferring data to a new device, ensure the old device is wiped upon return.

Something to remember is that when you use your smartphone, think of it more as a computer in its own right. It is therefore your responsibility to keep it secure.

Here at InfoLore we are able to offer support and guidance on your journey to GDPR compliance. If you like our articles and would like more advice, please contact the team today.