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Sea, sand and safe surfing18 July 2016

Summer is a time for being outdoors, for travel and for children to have long days of fun. In today’s digital world, all these activities can mean children and adults using mobile devices to entertain, inform and connect with others.

Unfortunately, this digital freedom comes hand in hand with three significant challenges: security of mobile devices, keeping children safe online and ensuring the internet of things doesn’t compromise your data.

 

Mobile security

Do you realise that your mobile phone can be a hacker’s entry point to your organisation’s commercial data? Many people don’t appreciate that by accessing their office emails on their smartphone, they could be bypassing their organisation’s data security systems.

Summertime means many more people will be accessing their employers’ data systems through mobile devices, particularly smartphones. Not everyone who goes on holiday will choose to switch off work entirely. Rightly or wrongly, they’ll still connect with the office from time to time through their smartphone.

Because they’re travelling, many people will connect with the office over insecure wifi networks. Logging into office email or systems over open wifi makes it easy for eavesdropping cybercriminals to harvest access details including passwords. Making financial transactions is equally dangerous, running the risk of giving criminals the keys to your bank account.

You can’t afford to take risks with mobile security this summer. It only takes one breach to bring your business to a standstill. Here are some quick tips for improving mobile security:

  • •  Only install apps that you trust.
  • •  Avoid logging into business networks or financial systems when using unfamiliar wifi networks.
  • •  Install appropriate security software on your devices.

 

Child safety

Every parent should have a concern about what their child is doing online. But concern isn’t the same as worry. It means taking an interest in and considering the consequences of your child’s online activities.

Cybercriminals particularly target children in the summer because some are spending lots of time online, often using devices borrowed from their parents. These same devices often have links to company networks, which can provide a back door to hackers.

Our tips for helping your child stay safe online this summer include, and for helping you worry less:

  • •  Talk to them about what they enjoy doing when online.
  • •  Have them use online devices in places where you or others can see them.
  • •  Don’t allow them to install unfamiliar apps onto devices that are connected to your business networks.

 

Keeping your connections secure

Today’s holiday suitcases will be jammed with an incredible number of web-enabled gadgets and gizmos. Cameras, health trackers, tablet computers, baby monitors and a growing number of children’s toys can share information over wifi connections.

Unfortunately, security is not always a high priority for both device manufacturers and users. Default passwords are often simple and remain unchanged, while the security itself can be relatively easy to crack. Why would anyone want to hack into your health tracker? Because it talks to your smartphone that’s connected to your office network, meaning it could offer a hacker a back door into your company data.

Cybercriminals are always at least one step ahead of those creating security solutions. You can help protect yourself in this interconnected age with these tips:

  • •  Activate tracking and make a note of serial numbers on all your mobile devices.
  • •  Regularly change passwords on any device that you connect to a wifi network.
  • •  Take care with devices that can collect personal data, such as cameras and microphones.

 

We help our clients enjoy their summer break

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to digital security: in the office, at home and even on the beach.

We help our clients to take a break from security concerns by assessing the resilience of their networks from a host of threats, from cybercriminals to summer flash floods.

If you would like to take a holiday from digital security worries this summer, give us a call on 0808 168 9135 or email enquiries@itsupport365.co.uk. We would be pleased to have a no-obligation conversation with you.

Alternatively, you can follow us as we share news on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

One last summer digital security tip: remember that electronic devices are sensitive to sunshine, sand and seawater. They can overheat, causing them to shut down or worse, doing permanent damage. Fine grains of sand can get into sockets or cause mechanical parts to seize up. As for seawater – you’ll enjoy your seaside swim much more when your phone is well protected from the water!