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Get Smart About Smartphones

With flexible working schedules, remote teams, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in force, it is has become commonplace for employees and business owners alike to use smartphones for work purposes. A quick reply to an email, sharing that sales presentation, glancing over that vendor proposal–all on a smartphone–is something we all do on a daily basis. But with this convenience comes great security risks.

This blog discusses what they are and how you can avoid them.

Mobile devices are lost/stolen more easily.

Unlike desktop computers, your smartphones and tablets are easier to steal. Or, you may even forget yours at the restroom in the mall, and along with it, goes all confidential data.

Phishing: Avoid biting the bait.

A smartphone user is more likely to fall for a phishing scam on two accounts–one, with messaging apps like Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, etc., chances of getting phishing links are higher. The smaller screen size can make it difficult to clearly verify the authenticity of the site being visited.

Free apps = free malware.

Free applications make everyone happy. The smartphone user and also malware distributors! Beware of downloading 'free' applications as there have been "reports of malware/spyware hiding in free applications." Just like how humans can catch the flu and make everyone at work sick, your mobile device can get infected with a malware and spread it across your network in the office. Research the developers and make sure you're only downloading from trusted sources (e.g., Google Play Store, Apple App Store).

What you can do?

How do you prevent misuse of your debit card? With a PIN number, right? You can do the same to your phone by protecting it with a pass code so the culprit will not be able to use it to access your data. Also, there are apps that let you wipe out all the data from your smartphone remotely in case you lose your device.

Be careful when downloading data and even 3rd party apps on your phone. Double check URLs when browsing online using your phone and don’t click on messages with links that seems malicious. In such cases, remember, if something seems too good to be true, it almost always is. Chances are, you may have not won that million-dollar lottery or that all expenses paid trip to Europe.

As a business owner, you need to protect your business data. If you allow employees to use their personal phones to access your business email or network, then you should have an Acceptable Use Policy and a BYOD policy in place to allow them to use business items on the phone with special access. And, spread the word among your employees. Their phone has the power to damage your brand!

For more information, contact Chattanooga Business Machines at 423-855-5222 or email us at

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