Safety tips for phys­i­cal se­cu­rity

Tehran Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Phys­i­cal se­cu­rity is just as im­por­tant as on­line se­cu­rity in pro­tect­ing your smart­phone or tablet – and your­self – against crime. The com­pact size of these de­vices makes them par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble to theft, and ac­ci­den­tal loss or dam­age.

The risks

Los­ing your smart­phone or tablet through theft or care­less­ness not only causes in­con­ve­nience and, po­ten­tially, ex­pense. It also poses a risk to your se­cu­rity ow­ing to the data you keep on your de­vice, in­clud­ing your con­tacts list.

If you do not take suf­fi­cient care to pro­tect your smart­phone or tablet, you will make it easy for crim­i­nals to steal your de­vice and/or the data stored on it. Theft takes place most of­ten when out and about, such as:

Theft from a hand­bag or brief­case.

Theft by pick­pock­ets.

Theft from a cafe, restau­rant or pub ta­ble, ei­ther be­cause you care­lessly turn your back on the de­vice or a thief cre­ates a dis­trac­tion.

Theft from un­se­cured of­fice premises is also com­mon­place, as well as theft from the home by break-in or il­le­git­i­mate call­ers who trick house­hold­ers into think­ing they are from a util­ity or clean­ing com­pany, or sim­i­lar.

Smart­phone/tablet loss and dam­age

Mo­bile de­vices are equally at risk of loss and dam­age when there is no crim­i­nal in­tent. For ex­am­ple, the fol­low­ing are very com­mon­place:

Leav­ing de­vices in a pub­lic place such as in a shop, cafe, pub, air­port ter­mi­nal, taxi or on a train or plane.

Los­ing phones out of pock­ets, in­clud­ing down the toi­let. Leav­ing a phone on the car roof.

Keep your smart­phone/tablet safe

Never leave your smart­phone or tablet unat­tended in a pub­lic place or of­fice.

Do not leave your de­vice un­se­cured in a ho­tel room when you go out – in­stead lock it in the safe.

Do not get dis­tracted by strangers in a pub­lic place when your phone is on a ta­ble or in an open hand­bag or brief­case.

If keep­ing your de­vice with you when out and about, en­sure it can­not be ac­cessed by pick­pock­ets.

Keep your home or of­fice se­cure against bur­glars and il­licit call­ers.

Do not leave smart­phones and tablets on view through win­dows and glass doors.

Never leave smart­phones or tablets vis­i­ble in a car. Even if you are in the car, your lap­top could be vul­ner­a­ble to theft when you are sta­tion­ary (for ex­am­ple, whilst park­ing or at traf­fic lights). Al­ways pass­word-pro­tect ac­cess to your smart­phone or tablet. Finger­print recog­ni­tion of­fers a de­gree of safety, but there is still no sub­sti­tute for a well-de­vised and pro­tected pass­word or PIN.

Be care­ful how you dis­pose of pack­ag­ing that might ad­ver­tise that you have a new smart­phone or tablet.

Be care­ful that your smart­phone is not eas­ily go­ing to fall out of your back pocket.

Be wary about dam­ag­ing your smart­phone when in your back pocket, by sit­ting on it.

If your smart­phone or tablet is stolen or lost

No­tify the Po­lice (or if the theft or loss has oc­curred on a train, the Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice) and ob­tain a crime or loss ref­er­ence num­ber for track­ing and in­sur­ance pur­poses.

No­tify your mo­bile ser­vice provider who can dis­able your ser­vice.

Limit the im­pact of a theft or loss

Down­load a rep­utable app, such as those avail­able from Nor­ton by Sy­man­tec, Kasper­sky or Bul­lGuard, which en­ables you to trace your de­vice in the event of loss or theft. De­pend­ing on the one you choose, these en­able your de­vice to:

Re­motely trace the lo­ca­tion of your lost or stolen de­vice Sound an alarm on the de­vice it­self

Take a photo of some­one try­ing to ac­ti­vate it (eg the thief or the per­son who finds it) and send it to you

Re­motely wipe the data on the de­vice so that it can­not be ac­cessed Make a note of IMEI se­rial num­bers to en­able re­port­ing if stolen. Type *#06# into your hand­set to get the IMEI num­ber.

When you sync your de­vice to your com­puter, check the sync set­tings to en­sure you are not trans­fer­ring ex­ces­sive data, which does not need to be on the de­vice.

Use a se­cu­rity marker to la­bel your mo­bile de­vices and other high-value items.

Never store pass­words on your smart­phone or tablet. En­sure your de­vices are ad­e­quately in­sured.

If your de­vice has GPS or a built in lo­ca­tion ser­vice do not add your home ad­dress as an ob­vi­ous fa­vorite or book­mark so that it can­not be dis­cov­ered by a thief.

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