We all love our gadgets – I’m quite attached to my BlackBerry and iPad. As a small business, you may have one phone for both personal and business use, to check emails and keep in touch with family and staff alike.You might think this is saving time and money, but using a personal device for work is a huge gamble. Unless it’s protected, it puts your business information at risk. We all lose our devices. I’ve lost countless mobile phones, but before I call my insurance company, I call my IT department to disable the handset and wipe all the information from it. The information on my mobile phone is worth infinitely more than the price of the handset and I can’t afford to let it get into the wrong hands. To ensure that you’re in the mobile know-how, here are some helpful tips on how to keep your devices safe: 1. Keep devices close at all times Ensure that you keep your phone in a safe pocket and that your laptop is never far from reach when you’re travelling. You may also want to differentiate your phone with a case so you can recognise it from others. 2. Free Wi-Fi warning! It’s essential to keep your business information safe when your employees are accessing wireless networks while out of the office. Educate them on the dangers of Wi-Fi hotspots at airports, cafes, and the like, as they can be a breeding ground for malware. 3. Save smartly Don’t save security PIN numbers or banking information on mobile phones or the desktop of your laptop. If your device is lost or stolen you need to ensure that there isn’t readily available information that can used to establish and exploit your identity. 4. Take the right precautions Ensure your mobile device is equipped with security safeguards. In the unfortunate case that you leave your device somewhere by mistake, be sure that it’s both password protected and encrypted. 5. Speed is of the essence If you realise that your device has been lost, act quickly! Many software applications allow you to remotely wipe your smartphone to ensure that nobody gets their hands on your business information, so call your IT manager immediately so they can remotely disable it. If you don’t have the luxury of an IT department, call your service provider and they will be able to do the same. In partnership with Symantec and Real Business, James Caan will host a live Q&A session on Twitter on July 8. For more on today’s IT challenges, check out Symantec’s free check-up tool here.
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