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Make Sure Life on the Road isn’t Interrupted by Data Theft

The rise of the mobile workforce means a rise in the need to secure your data. If you take advantage of public Wi-Fi, you're putting your devices and data at risk. Worse, if your device is lost or stolen, so is your company and personal data.

Securing your data is easy, and combines equal parts common sense with six precautionary steps to make sure life on the road isn't interrupted by data theft.

Develop a few security habits

Some simple precautions, like using a privacy screen (which fits over your laptop screen and allows you to see it only if you're looking directly at it, can disappoint prying eyes. Don't store sensitive information on your mobile device or laptop—keep it on an external storage device. Always look for the "S" at the end of https in the web address on sites that deal with personal data, which indicates that the specific page you're viewing is encrypted. If there's no "S," your data may not be safe—or you may be on a phishing site.

Using public Wi-Fi is a huge convenience - and a huge security risk

Even a strong password does not guarantee your accounts won't be compromised. For extra protection, use two-factor authentication. You'll be required to enter two pieces of information: first your password; second, a code that is sent to a specific device by either text or phone call or generated by an app when you're offline. Reduce your vulnerability with two-factor authentication apps, like Microsoft's Authenticator, that can make a hacker's life miserable.

Create your own virtual private network

A virtual private network (VPN) security app that encrypts your Internet activity can protect personal information and data. Your company may require one; if not, VPN security apps, such as HotSpot Shield VPN for Windows, create a secure gateway to the Internet while you're using a public Wi-Fi network.

Keep your identity safe

Password managers, like SafeWallet, can store and protect all your online identities, credit cards, passwords, bank account details, and other sensitive information like passport and driver's license numbers. The SafeWallet app can also automatically lock itself after a certain time period. And it automatically syncs information across your devices.

Don't be prey to data thieves

If, despite all precautions, your device is lost or stolen, be sure you have installed anti-theft tracking software, such as Prey, so you can remotely locate, lock, wipe, and recover the device. If your device is stolen, you can use the tracking website to sound an alarm or send an on-screen message to let the thief know you're aware of the theft. The Find My Phone service can help you locate, ring, or lock your mobile phone.

Put a plan in place and get everyone to use it

Develop a strategy and process for safeguarding company information and devices before you or your employees leave the office.

Get smart

Just a quick check of your email on a free Wi-Fi connection can jeopardize personal and corporate data and information. Even if a public Wi-Fi network requires a password, if hundreds or thousands of people know it, the password does not add a layer of protection. Think twice about what you might be putting at risk when you're tempted by the convenience of a public Wi-Fi connection

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Categories: Cyber Security
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