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Smartphone security cannot be ignored, says BCS
IT News |
UK professionals and consumers need to place a greater focus on smartphone security, it has been claimed.
According to BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, an increasing number of people are carrying sensitive information on their mobile devices and this is heightening the risks.
The organisation reported that 38 per cent of people accessed the internet from their mobile phone during 2010, and of those, 26 per cent synchronised their mobile device with their PC.
More than 20 per cent have lost their phone or had it stolen in the last year and 60 per cent had no PIN on their phone let alone any additional security.
BCS said the devices are "an easy target" for thieves, and can be easily lost, forgotten or stolen.
"With so many people in the UK now using a smartphone it is important that businesses and individuals understand the importance of protecting mobile devices,” says Adam Thilthorpe, director of professionalism at the institute.
"Not only can smartphones be lost or stolen, but we have also seen an increase in devices being attacked by malware so it is important that people stay alert."
Mr Thilthorpe said there are a number of ways to make sure we keep our personal and company data secure when using smartphones.
"More than anything, using common sense by keeping your devices safe and on your person will prevent most of the problems relating to smartphone security," he added.
BCS urged smartphone users to use the automatic keypad lock is set up on their handsets, and ensure remote wipes are set up for business devices.
Device users are also advised to use an up-to-date operating system as this may include additional security features.
WiFi and bluetooth should be turned off when they are not being used, and secure virtual private networks should be utilised by those using a smartphone for work, BCS said.
Users should only download apps from dedicated app stores, the institute warned, and they should not click on links in text messages.
"Make a note of your IMEI number, this can normally be found on the box of your phone or the back of your battery," BCS advised. "And make sure you have a PIN on your voicemail.
"If your phone support tracking, make sure this is turned on or you have downloaded a suitable app."
A recent study carried out by McAfee found that the number of new pieces of malicious mobile software increased by 46 per cent last year.
Posted by Stephen Wilkinson
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