Pagoda Blog

How to Secure Your Smartphone for Remote Work

January 6, 2022

The ability to access our email, the weather, online shopping, social media, and work documents via a device that can fit in our back pocket is nothing short of a miracle. Of course, this incredible convenience comes with a catch. The more information you store and access on your smartphone, the greater the risk is that your device and all of its sensitive information will be hacked. If you use your smartphone for remote work, this risk becomes especially concerning. Fortunately, you can keep your remote work lifestyle intact and protect both personal and company data by taking the following precautions. 


Turn off bluetooth when you don’t need it 

Hackers can use bluetooth to gain access to your smartphone and steal data and install spyware or malware onto your device. To mitigate this risk, we recommend simply turning off bluetooth when you’re not using it. 


Use 5+ digits for your passcode

Make your passcode harder to crack by using more than 4 digits. Consider combining both letters and numbers for an even stronger code. Fingerprint scanning and facial recognition is also a highly effective way to secure your mobile device. 


Never use public Wi-Fi 

When you connect to public Wi-Fi you’re opening up your device to anyone else who’s logged into that network. Instead, try to use your phone’s private cell connection or if that’s not an option, use a VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) keeps your smartphone and your data safe through an encrypted connection. 


Guard your phone number 

Don’t give out your phone number to every app that requests a mobile number upon signup. Instead, add a second line to your phone through an app like Google Voice. 


Think twice before getting too personal on social 

Every personal detail you share on social media, like your family’s names, DOBs, hometown, and other addresses, can potentially be used to hack into your device. Take advantage of social platforms security settings to shield this personal information from the public and limit the number of apps that are connected to your accounts. The most secure approach? Don’t have social media apps on your smartphone. 


Don’t store sensitive information on your phone 

Even when your phone is protected by a strong passcode, you should only store sensitive information on it if absolutely necessary. Whatever you do, don’t store passwords, PINs or credit card numbers in unprotected apps like Notes. Instead, use a secure password management system like Passportal


Manage app permissions

Often we blindly grant apps a wide range of permissions that aren’t even required in order for that app to function properly. You can revoke unnecessary permissions in your smartphone’s settings. For iPhones go to Settings → Privacy. The exact location of app permissions varies on Android devices but they’re typically found under Settings → Apps. 


Regularly delete your browsing history, cookies, and cache 

Your phone stores your browsing history purely for convenience. When it comes to security, this history only puts you more at risk of a hack. We recommend deleting your browsing history at least once a week. Cnet has a helpful tutorial for clearing your history on both Androids and iPhones. While this will log you out of any sites you frequent, it will also speed up the load time on your phone’s web browser. 


Enable Find My iPhone or Find My Device 

If you misplace your phone, tracking services like Find My iPhone or Find My Device for Android can help you locate it quickly before it falls into the wrong hands. This feature also allows you to remotely erase your phone’s data. 


Learn to erase your data remotely 

If you suspect your phone has fallen into the wrong hands, you can wipe your data remotely, preventing the hacker from gaining access to any sensitive information. Here’s how for an Android and for an iPhone


Keep your apps updated

These software updates include more than new features. They also include important security updates to help protect a hacker from installing spyware on your device. 


Use antivirus software

Installing antivirus software can prevent a hacker from installing spyware or malware on your device. The software automatically scans PDFs, images, apps, and any other downloads to ensure they’re not infected before you open them. 


Working remotely requires being smart about cybersecurity. Securing your smartphone is just one critical step to ensuring that you’re not giving hackers easy access to company data. Check out the related reading below for more information on remote work security. Still have questions or need help setting your own business up for a remote or hybrid workforce? Schedule a consultation today

Featured photo by ANGELA FRANKLIN on Unsplash


Related reading: 

How to Create a BYOD Policy for a Hybrid Workplace

3 Ways to Access Work Files Remotely
9 Security Tips for Working Remotely 


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