When traveling for work, it’s important to remain connected. However, it’s also important to maintain mobile security in the process.
While avoiding public Wi-Fi may not be an option, there are ways to remain connected and secure. Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of mobile data security.
1. Avoid malicious hotspots and turn off Wi-Fi
According to Forbes:
“When you’re not using Wi-Fi, turn it off so it does not automatically sign you in on the next free Wi-Fi which could possibly be unsafe.”
This is a simple precaution that doesn’t require a lot of time. Make it a habit and you’ll be happy that you did.
2. Use a trusted VPN to protect mobile data
Since you’ll most likely need to connect when you’re in areas that have public Wi-Fi hotspots (like airports or hotels), a third-party VPN (Virtual Private Network) isn’t a bad idea.
A VPN works by encrypting your data before it’s seen. Data you send and access on your mobile device goes to the VPN, then to your online destination. This process keeps your information secure because it privately routes your connection while hiding everything you do online. You can think of it as built-in network security that goes where you go.
3. Beware of USB charging stations in public areas
Most of the time, these are perfectly safe. But don’t forget that the same port you use to charge your iPhone or Android device can also be used to transfer data. You can never be too careful.
Rather than using a public USB charging station, opt for a personal USB cable that doesn’t carry data or simply use an electrical outlet.
4. Leverage IT support for authenticity of devices
As stated by CIO:
“To maintain a high level of security, have IT provision and maintain the authenticity of all devices that connect to the network. Even if your organization’s culture will not tolerate this level of control, standardize as many security tools as possible, including anti-virus, firewall, encryption, patch management, multi-factor authentication, and so on.”
5. Turn off location tracking on your connected devices
This might be a useful feature on your phone, but the information it pulls can easily fall into the wrong hands. Because of this, it’s important to turn the feature off when you aren’t actively using it.
While you’re at it, check your social media accounts to ensure your location is not being tracked, shared or displayed there. There’s really no reason to leave your location visible on social media.
6. Purge apps you no longer use
If you have apps that are no longer being used, delete them. These apps have been known to store your data and track your location. In some cases, you may not even be aware of it.
And speaking of apps, always use due diligence when downloading a new app, even if you’re downloading it from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Research the app and check out the reviews before you download it. This information will give you insight into not only how it performs but if it’s private and safe.
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7. Utilize the cloud to enforce data security
If you have particularly sensitive information, use the cloud. Instead of storing sensitive data on your device, keep it away from others in the cloud and then retrieve it only when you need it.
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Final thoughts about mobile data security
Some of these tips might seem like common sense. Some of them seem downright paranoid.
But the fact of the matter is your mobile data security is important. Most of the vulnerabilities hackers exploit work because victims don’t realize they’re at risk. Follow these tips and your data will be much safer.
Want to keep reading? Check out the evolution of network security and protecting your business.