How to use and secure your mobile phone at work

How to use and secure your mobile phone at work

Whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy or other handheld device that is glued to you 24/7 and contains your entire life within its 16-124 gigabytes of storage all you know is you cannot live without it. Of course you bring it to work with you. The question is when and where is it ok to use it and how to keep all that data safe.

How to prevent data theft and secure your mobile phone

Your IT department needs your help to make your company’s enterprise security as tight and effective as possible. Did you know that your mobile phone could pose a risk?

If you are a busy administrator or manager who uses your company mobile phone as a communication device during the day to send and receive emails and texts, it is extra important to take precautions to protect confidential information and prevent a potential security leak. Here are a few tips:

  1. Have a password-secured device

    One basic defense against hackers is to create a complex password and update it regularly. Fingerprint detection scanners and pattern locks are less secure. If someone gains physical control of the phone you want to make it as difficult as possible for them to gain access.

  2. Set up a remote wipe

    If your phone is lost or stolen, set up a remote wipe so that you can remotely delete all confidential data from the device. Most phones come with this capability as part of the Find My Phone feature, if not you can install an app like Google’s Find My Device or Mobile Defense.

  3. Beware of suspicious email

    Do not open any suspicious email and never click on a link inside an email. Many companies have this as a strict policy to prevent the risk of phishing attacks. Free download offers is a common method hackers use to activate a virus.

  4. Update the operating system

    Install anti-malware software on the device and update the operating system and security patches as they become available.

  5. Activate the data encryption feature

    If your phone does not automatically encrypt data by default, activate this feature in settings or install an app to make data more difficult to decipher if it is hacked.


Tips on using a mobile phone at work

Many employers do not have a formal policy written up for employees about using a smartphone at the office. Out of sight and mind (of other coworkers) is a good basic rule to follow for any situation. Here are a few more tips:

  1. Give loved ones the main office phone number in case of an emergency

    This way, if your phone is on silent mode, you can still be reached immediately.

  2. Schedule time into your day to respond to messages

    Schedule into your day a few times when you can check messages, make an appointment, laugh at a video someone sent you… without disturbing anyone else. Walk outside the building for a quick fix and some fresh air or to your car for a ten minute break.

  3. Set up voicemail

    Have voicemail set-up so you do not have to worry about missed calls and can return them at a later time.

  4. Set your phone on silent/vibrate mode

    When you are scheduled for a meeting either leave your phone at your desk or turn it off. Being in the middle of a brainstorming session with the boss and having the ring tone start to play will not be a welcome event.

    When at your desk set the device on silent/vibrate mode and place it in a drawer, your purse or other location that is out of sight. You want to present the appearance of a dedicated, focused worker, not someone ready to sneak in a few peaks of the latest comedy show on Netflix.

  5. Be careful about content

    Content you would not view or share on your office PC is also content you do not want to be viewing or sharing on your smartphone at work.