Mobile Data Security: Hot Tips to Reduce Risks

Mobile Data Security: Hot Tips to Reduce Risks

Data security and mobile data protection is never easy and therefore security of smartphones and tablets cannot be ignored. Taking necessary and meaningful steps to improve mobile data protection and security must be quintessential. Following few and simple safeguard tips can help you in reducing massively the risks of getting your information in the wrong hands. You can even at times stop someone accessing personal and institutional data from your lost or stolen mobile devices which you no longer have direct access to!

In my last blog I discussed various security concerns related to data protection on your smartphones. Keeping your mobile gear secure is a tricky business.

Join me now on a walk which will be helpful for a really long time in keeping your data secure and keeping you psychologically comfortable and confident about your security. We shall now take an overview of some of the simplest and the best strategies and effective methods of protecting the data on your mobile devices.

One way to protect your mobile data is to simply keep the device with you all the time- within your reach keeping your eyes on it… that makes sense as a first step but the bigger question is – Does your device securely kept 24X7 in your pocket ensure that it is safe from malicious attacks?

1 – Conceal The Confidential – Encrypt Everything:

One of the effective way of safeguarding your mobile devices is to take advantage of the built-in encryption. Hereby, I will briefly describe the Data Encryption procedures for Mobile platforms:

A- Android Data Encryption Guidance –
For data protection on mobile device, you must always use a pattern, PIN or passcode to lock your device. This can prevent others from accessing your confidential data from getting misused. Schedule at least an hour or more for encryption process. If you interrupt the process, there are chances that you may lose some or all of your data.

Follow some steps for data encryption for Android 4.4 or lower:

  • Open the Settings menu on your device.
  • Touch “Personal” under “Security”
  • Under “Encryption,” touch Encrypt tablet or Encrypt phone.
  • Read the instructions carefully and choose the relevant lock type.
  • Enter your lock screen PIN, pattern, or password and touch Continue.
  • Touch Encrypt tablet or Encrypt phone again.

The process of encryption commences and it can take an hour or more. Your device may restart several times. Once the encryption process is completed, it will prompt you to enter your PIN, pattern or passcode, each time you power on your device.

B- iOS Data Encryption Guidance –
It is a good news for iOS users that now every iOS device has a dedicated Advanced Encryption Standard(AES) 256-bit crypto engine that sits between the flash storage and main system memory. Along with this in-built into device’s hardware is the unique identifier (UID), an AES 256-bit key fused into the application processor. UID is very much specific to device and is not at all recorded to anywhere else. No software can read it directly. Furthermore, the key is burnt into silicon, it cannot be tampered with or bypassed. Only the crypto engine can access it. Therefore, the mobile data protection for iOS device users is simply awesome. Having such touch encryption building block into the physical architecture makes it easier to encrypt all data stored on an iOS device. More precisely speaking, Apple enables this level of encryption by default and does not permit it to be disabled.

C- Windows Phone Data Encryption Guidance –
For all Windows Phone 6.1, 6.0, 7, 8 the encryption of data is managed under settings head. Similar to other platforms such as Android and iOS, Windows also allows the use of Passcode for completing data encryption process. If you have a new device with a free install of Windows RT 8.1, device encryption is turned on automatically when you sign in. Windows helps exhaustive framework for mobile data protection and automatically uploads a recovery key for your Microsoft account online. This key helps you to sign in to your device in case you are locked out. However, if your have upgraded to Windows RT 8.1 from a previous version of Windows, you’ll need to turn on device encryption manually.

2- No To Aliens – Install Antivirus:

Data protection softwares are also readily available for device data protection. There are many malware-laden applications which range from free device wallpaper to paid multiplayer games and even to imposters that almost look like popular apps. Security vendors offer many beneficial data protection software such as Kaspersky, AVG, Avast and Lookout which offer antivirus and security apps for various devices and therefore helps you to keep your info secure online. Along with offering antivirus and malware scanning features these security apps also offer a full security suite with features such as device location, remote wipe, backup, and suspicious-URL blocking. Though these value additions can cost extra bucks to your pocket but there is no harm in buying them, as prevention is better than cure. And your data is worth it indeed.

3- More In Store – Other Security Features:

Apart from data protection software there are many other ways to keep your mobile data protected. Specific security features may vary between devices and operating systems. Here are a few good ones you can choose from:

  • Password, Passcode, or PIN or unlock pattern: Set an alphanumeric and a bit tricky password, passcode, or PIN to access your device. (Do not make it difficult to the extent that you fail to recall it!). Use a code that is four digits or longer, and keep it secret, like you do for your email password or passphrase. Also you can set unlock patterns that function like PINs. Use a pattern with some complexity. Protect it from observers.
  • Device lockout: Device lockout option which many handheld devices provide can thwart a brute-force attempt to guess your password, PIN, or pattern. You can set the lockout limit to 10 attempts which is more than sufficient.
  • Auto-wipe: Similar to lock-out option is an auto-wipe option but more secure than the former. This explains that after several consecutive unsuccessful attempts of password break, the device automatically erases or wipes the stored data and resets the device to factory defaults. It is always advisable to take your data back-up on cloud before choosing this option.

The above information covers most of the necessary security steps necessary to be taken regarding data protection for most devices. However with new advancing technology, organizations are coming up with increased security measures to help you secure your data but at the same time, there are hands that are working to find a way to crack even the most secure of systems. Keep reading my articles, as you will get lot of grey matter on Mobile Data Security.

References:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2052810/security-to-go-three-tips-to-keep-your-mobile-data-safe.html
https://www1.good.com/secure-mobility-solution/data-loss-prevention.html
http://www.kunal-chowdhury.com/2014/01/data-security-in-windows-phone.html
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-in/windows-8/using-device-encryption
http://searchconsumerization.techtarget.com/tip/How-iOS-encryption-and-Data-Protection-work
https://kb.iu.edu/d/ayem
http://bit.ly/1MrtZX5
https://kb.iu.edu/d/bcnh
http://bit.ly/1GrsWUP
http://bit.ly/1AfJnzQ

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Rachit Agarwal

Rachit Agarwal

Director and Co-Founder at Algoworks Technologies
Rachit is leading the mobility business development function, mobility strategy and consulting practice at Algoworks. He is an expert of all mobile technologies and has experience in managing teams involved in the development of custom iPhone/iPad/Android apps.
Rachit Agarwal

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