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10 Tips for Mobile Device Management

Mobile business computing is here to stay — or go, as the case may be. Today’s small and medium-sized businesses rely more than ever on a growing slate of mobile devices whose security profiles can vary widely. Keep your company’s trade secrets and sensitive data secure with these quick tips.

1. Set passwords and auto-lock. All major smartphones permit password and passkey protection. Enable this feature on every device in your network, and be sure to turn on auto-lock for some extra peace of mind.

2. Disable auto-complete. Many phone and tablet browsers offer this feature, which fills in names and passwords to streamline your browsing experience. Disable auto-complete to prevent unwanted visitors from breezing past essential log-in screens.

3. Encrypt your data. Plenty of good software is available to encode sensitive documents with one touch. Have your workforce do this as a matter of habit, and you can prevent most cases of data theft.

4. Invest in antivirus software. It’s a myth that smartphones and tablets don’t get viruses or other malware. In fact, today’s mobile devices represent the fastest-growing frontier in hacking. Foil the bad guys with a strong antivirus app, and then keep it up to date.

5. Add remote wipe and location tools. Many mobile operating systems offer apps that are designed expressly to foil thieves. These include features such as live GPS reporting, and pictures. Most will also let you perform a remote wipe, which instructs the device to destroy all its data.

6. Back up your mobile devices often. This simple habit can make the remote wipe option far less painful.

7. Go “thin” with your devices. Many businesses prefer to keep important documents in the cloud — not stored locally on their devices. Fewer saved docs mean less risk.

8. Watch what you download. Encourage best practices among your employees, and consider creating a whitelist of acceptable apps to help keep infected software off your network.

9. Dictate which devices are permitted at all. Your IT consultant can direct you to some of the safest phones, tablets and laptops on the market. Buy in bulk.

10. Stay out of bad wireless neighborhoods. Wi-Fi flows freely all around us, but many of these networks are filled with bad actors bent on stealing your company’s data. Stick with hot spots you know and always opt for a secure connection.

Your mobile workforce can be the engine of your future success. Like any good machine, though, it must be tuned and maintained to avoid a costly breakdown.

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