Don’t Forget the Physical When Securing Your Mobile Devices

Don’t Forget the Physical When Securing Your Mobile Devices

When you know how to secure a mobile device, you typically rely on┬ádigital means┬ásuch as virus protection apps or network security. This makes perfect sense given that hackers often attack from the Internet. However, software does nothing to physically protect your smartphone and tablet, which can still be picked up and carried away by criminals if you’re not careful. The following are a few tips for providing physical security for your mobile devices.

Limit Access

Allow access to company databases and websites only through devices distributed and maintained by the company. While this may prove inconvenient for employees who now have to manage personal and work devices, it minimizes security risks since you can exercise full control on the company device. You can specify what software it can carry, limit its use to work-related websites, and prevent access to personal social media, gaming sites, and porn pages that can all be used to hack your business.

Don’t Leave Devices Along

It may be tempting to leave your laptop on a coffee shop table momentarily as you go pick up your beverage. But it only takes a second for someone to swipe your device and run out the door. Never leave equipment by itself in a public place. If it’s too big to conveniently carry with you constantly, secure it with a lock that affixes your device to a table leg or other anchor. These locks are generally available at office supply stores.

Track Unused Devices

What happens to company mobile devices that have been replaced or are no longer in use? Do they get thrown into the back of a drawer or cabinet to be forgotten? Would you even know they’re missing if someone stole them?
Unused devices need to be tracked as rigorously as those that are in use. First, wipe them clean of any apps and data. If you think you might use them in the future, store them in a locked cabinet in a locked room so you can inventory them every year. If they are too obsolete, have them destroyed so there’s no possibility that the data can be retrieved. In either case, keep a record of their disposition, so if they go missing, you’ll know.

Shield The Screen

When you use your device in a public place, make sure that the screen is shielded from public view. Otherwise, someone could look at what you type in and potentially figure out the websites you access and the passwords that you use for them.
Even if you’re in a private office, be aware of what your screen is facing. You may feel perfectly secure on the 10th floor with nothing around you but windows and other building. But telephoto lenses on powerful cameras can easily magnify and record your screen from the next building. Having your back to a blank wall or keeping your smartphone under a desk or table when you access it will prevent anybody from spying on you from long distances.