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Cyber secure use

Mobile devices have become ever more common and markets are flooded with new applications, for business and pleasure.

Smartphones and tablets are also popular Christmas presents. People are using mobile devices to play games, shop, pay bills and share their thoughts via social media. A network security product company here shares ten tips to ensure cyber secure use of mobile devices. Ash Patel, regional director at Stonesoft, says: “Almost all functions are available in the Internet today, and unfortunately also organised crime has found its way there. To a consumer, cybercrime may seem a distant threat that is mostly related to espionage between nation-states or hacking against big enterprises. However, also the consumer shopping online can be harmed. With your mobile device, you carry also a significant collection of very important personal information data, including your credit card number, with you at all times.”

It is worth paying attention to the secure use of smartphones and tablets. For example, malware can be harmful also for mobile devices. Also the information contained by the mobile device may easily get into wrong hands, as the devices are easy to steal.

Tips for secure use of mobile devices

Update the programs and operating system of the mobile device regularly. Updates are usually provided automatically. On the other hand, when you are selecting a new mobile device, make sure updates are available to the operating system of the model in question;

Install programmes only from reliable sources, eg. well-known appliance stores such as App Store, Google Play or Nokia Store. A game for one euro may be available for free elsewhere, but it is also quite likely to contain malware;

Be careful with in-apps purchases – they may become costly. For example, children may buy superpowers to their game characters without understanding that each purchase costs. In many mobile devices, these in-apps –purchases can be disabled;

Be aware of the rights you have granted to different applications. From time to time, go through all user rights and privacy policies you have accepted. For example, the right to location information and the right to the network connection for the same application enable tracking your location remotely. Many camera applications and social media applications require user rights to the pictures you download to them;

Change the default access code and the PIN code of the SIM card. Do not use your birth year or other number combinations that would be too easy to guess. Set your device to request the password or a secret pattern every time you use it;

If your mobile device supports data encryption, enable this capability
You can connect your mobile devices to an online service that can remotely locate a lost or stolen device and, if needed, perform a remote wipe to erase all data;

If your mobile device gets stolen, inform your operator immediately so that the use of your SIM card at your expense can be disabled and your subscription can be transferred to a new card;

When you are giving up your old device, erase all personal information by returning the device back to factory settings. Remove all information also from old SIM cards and memory cards; and

Make regular backups of all data in your mobile device. Cloud services are practical for this purpose, but do not send your employer’s information to these without permission.

In addition, Ash feels that employees also have an obligation to their employer: “When you are using equipment provided by your employer, you should also always follow the related security instructions. Nor should you save work-related information to your own devices unless otherwise agreed.”


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