Skip to main content

Mobile Technology and Company Security: A Post Contributed by Steven Farrell*

The explosive growth of mobile technology has done wonders for business communications and employee productivity. Smart phones are now more than 15 percent of the handset market in the U.S. Tablet PCS are flying off the shelves and laptop computer sales remain strong. A person no longer needs to be in an office to retrieve, send or create important documents. GPS and tracking software on PDAs and smart phones make it easy to confirm where and employee is and what they're doing. Though these devices increase productivity, they are not without risks for companies and employees alike.

Data Theft

It is much easier to hack a cellular device than it is to tap a land line. While data encryption offers some control, it can be cracked by a determined expert. Theft is another problem. While many people treat their mobile devices as an appendage, they can still be left on a table in a restaurant or picked from a pocket in a crowd. If password protection is not rigorously used, sensitive corporate data can be lost or stolen. Wipe technology can also be installed, locking the device after several failed password attempts. A remote network administrator can then erase the device's memory if a security breach is suspected.

Data Transfer

Many mobile technology devices, particularly smart phones have a short service life before being upgraded. When exchanging one device for another, data should be backed up, then erased completely from the device's memory. Failure to do this can result in loss of proprietary information. A shocking number of smart phones and PDAs show up on eBay with company emails and documents still on board!

Voice Etiquette

While data can be lost, hacked or stolen from mobile devices, it can be much simpler than that. Astonishingly, many people still feel the need to raise their voices while talking on cell phones in lines, stores, coffee shops and airports. Forgetting that people can overhear what's being said should be addressed. Sensitive information should not be discussed in crowded or public areas.

Viruses and Spyware

With increased use of tablet PCs, laptops and smart phones comes increased exposure to viruses and spyware. Employees that use their company devices for social networking, shopping and surfing are particularly vulnerable. When the devices are linked back to the company network, viruses and spyware can corrupt or steal data.

Prevention

Developing a strict mobile IT policy is key to avoiding sensitive data. Enforcement of data encryption and password protection also help. Exclusive use of secured wireless networks will also help accidental loss of data over "evil twin" wireless hotspots. Updating of anti-spyware, anti-virus software and firewall protection is also important to keeping company information safe.

* Steven Farrell is the administrator of ReversePhoneLookup.org.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yammer: A Social Networking Site Exclusively for the Workplace

Effective internal communications among employees are related to some desirable organizational outcomes, such as robust morale, a clear vision, low turnover, and high employee engagement. The question is what platform can serve the purpose. This ABC News video introduces “ Yammer ,” an exclusive internal communication tool for companies. A user must use a valid company e-mail address to sign up for an account. Once an account is validated, the user will be led to the company page that is pretty much like a Facebook page. The difference is that only the users whose e-mail addresses share the same domain can see the wall and communicate with each other. I have no question about whether Yammer could be a useful internal communication tool for companies, but I just wonder: how many social networking sites do people need for communication? Why people have to “create” so many platforms or channels for “effective communications”? To many people, Facebook is only for “friends,” whe

Can leisure and work-from-home demand stimulate extended-stay hotel growth beyond COVID-19?

The lodging industry is   struggling   to fill the empty rooms in 2020. For months, U.S. hotels are running at an occupancy of 50% or lower.     Not every segment   suffers the same impact from the pandemic, however. Demand for   home-sharing  facilities had already bounced back over the summer. Airbnb reported a higher booking than last year. Marriott’s home-sharing arm is also doing well, seeing a sevenfold increase in booking over last summer.     Similar to what a residential rental or home-sharing facility   offers , guestrooms in extended-stay hotels also feature a full-size kitchen or a kitchenette. Extended-stay hotels are designed for travelers who want to stay at a “home” when away from home. A guestroom at the Residence Inn Miami Sunny Isles Beach   Extended-stay hotels vs. home-sharing facilities     Because COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through direct or indirect human contacts, people are highly encouraged to avoid unnecessary human interactions, leading to more   con

Will restaurants of the future still need a dining room?

It does not seem the coronavirus is leaving us soon, although we have seen good   progress in developing the vaccine . In recent weeks, many places reported   a surge of new infected COVID-19 cases . Some even resumed   lockdowns   and the mask-mandate order, forcing restaurants to   shut down indoor dining   services again.     As a short-term remedy, restaurants immediately shifted their offering to   curbside pickup and delivery  services. Meanwhile, restaurants are testing new concepts to embrace the   contactless self-service  trend for the future. Here are some examples,     Chipotle opened its first digital-only restaurant     The new prototype, known as the   Chipotle Digital Kitchen , debut in Highland Falls, NY, earlier this month. Different from the traditional Chipotle restaurant, the Chipotle Digital Kitchen features:     A lobby designated for pickup services through off-premise orders.   A see-through kitchen, allowing customers to see, smell, and hear what is going on b