Posts Tagged ‘safety’

Mobile Safety and Security

Posted on: September 27th, 2012 by billp | No Comments

Think back ten years ago and try to remember what kind of mobile device you were carrying. Calling it a “device” may even be a stretch because, more than likely, your device was a phone that made calls and did little more. You may have had a WAP web browser and texted using your phone keypad, but your phone was primarily for making and receiving calls. Now we carry devices/phones that are dramatically more powerful and capable, sometimes even taking the place of PCs for working on the road. Along with this increased capacity comes safety and security risks – both personal and professional – that need to be considered.

Whether you carry an aging smartphone or a brand-new Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, Nokia Lumia 900, or similar, you can be exposing yourself or your business data to theft if you’re not careful. The New York Police Department recently revealed that thefts involving Apple products have increased 40% over the same period last year, resulting in a 4% increase in overall crime. But there are things you can do to protect your personal property and the business and personal data you carry on your smart devices.

Here are some suggestions to improve your mobile safety and security, and possibly even your personal safety.

  1. Be aware of your surroundings and use common sense. Don’t use your mobile device to check the time when a stranger asks at night. Don’t use your mobile device near a subway, bus, etc. exit. Treat your mobile device as you would your wallet.
  2. Use security software that can help locate your mobile device if it is stolen. Apple provides Find My iPhone as a free service to all iCloud users, and this can also be used for iPads and iPod Touch devices. A well-respected solution for Android users is Lookout Mobile Security.
  3. Protect your mobile device with a access code of some kind – password, passcode, or PIN. This simple measure can protect your personal and business data in the event of theft. We recommend the use of longer passwords or passcodes over a simple PIN for increased security. Taking it a step further, most mobile operating systems allow you to wipe your device if an access code is incorrectly entered a certain number of times.
  4. Use encryption on your mobile device, if possible. Be aware that encryption can have a slight impact on battery life due to the process of encrypting/decrypting your data. iOS, Android, and the upcoming Windows Phone 8 (but, sadly, not Windows Phone 7) all support device encyption.
  5. In a business, enforce mobile device policies. All of the major mobile operating systems provide tools for centralized device management and security policy enforcement, and many third-party value-add tools exist as well. Such tools allow businesses to enforce device access code usage and complexity, remotely and securely wipe lost or stolen devices, and enforce device encryption, among many other settings.

From the standpoint of personal safety, texting while driving is getting a lot of attention. Many States have enacted laws prohibiting texting while driving. Distractions while driving – texting or otherwise – are a danger. The government site distraction.gov reports that ‘In 2010, 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.” The mobile carriers are starting campaigns or using technology against texting while driving; AT&T started the “It Can Wait” campaign, Sprint has “Focus on Driving,” and Verizon is conducting a “Don’t Text and Drive Pledge” in Ohio high schools. Sixth-grader Victoria Walker was recently awarded $20,000.00 by AT&T to bring to market a mobile app she designed called “Rode Dog,” designed to bark at your to warn you against texting while driving.

The bottom line is that your personal safety is far more important that your mobile device usage. Don’t text while driving. Be smart about when, where, and how you use your device. Protect yourself and your information.

Do you have questions about how to secure your mobile device? Do you want to use tools to enforce security policies across your business mobile devices? Contact us at (888) 600-4560, email us at info@coldencompany.com or see us on Facebook or Twitter (@coldenco) if you want to use your devices safely and securely.







Back to School and Back to Work

Posted on: August 31st, 2012 by jiml | No Comments

As summer vacations come to an end, focus returns to work and school. For some parents, it is sending a child off to college, while for others with younger children, it may be starting their youngster in school for the first time. Others still may be starting high school with their new laptop.  As a parent, the Internet is a scary place to leave your child unattended.  It is imperative to protect your kids from online predators as well as keeping them off of web sites that are not suitable for kids.  There are many software options that can help do that.  Unfortunately, kids are often the technical gurus in the house and can easily thwart whatever attempts the parents put in place.  Colden Company can recommend some very nice solutions that can be installed, hidden from view, and provide nice email reports to the parent about exactly what web sites your child has been to, who they are chatting with, and more.  This is nice information to have as a parent.

In the workplace, the Internet is also a scary place to leave employees. There have been countless studies on how much productivity is lost to sites like Faceook and Pinterest.  Web content filtering is a recommended solution for today’s work environment.  We have written postings in the past about the importance of developing your company policies before enacting technology.  Let your employees know what is acceptable and what is not, otherwise your business will be on shaky ground during a human resources dispute.

Web content filtering products range in price and complexity. For some businesses, a basic solution will do the job and for others, a more advanced solution may be required.  In determining which solution is appropriate, consider the estimated cost to your business of unnecessary web surfing versus the cost of implementing and maintaining a solution. What problem are you trying to solve?  Do you have one or two rogue employees you want to watch over or are you interested in a company-wide solution?  Is it important to have quality reporting on who is attempting to violate your content policy? It is important to put some thought into exactly what you are looking to accomplish before researching products.

Colden Company has experience in web content filtering solutions for home and business. Contact us at (888) 600-4560, email us at info@coldencompany.com or see us on Facebook or Twitter (@coldenco) – if your company policy allows it, of course!