Does your business provide company mobiles to employees?
Many businesses can benefit from the use of mobile devices as this enables easier communication between staff, customers and suppliers. But no technology is immune from the risks. Mobile device security is still important. Having employees use their own or company devices means there is a risk of loss or theft of that device. This then compromises any company data on that device.
Using public WiFi is another big risk as there are cybercriminals who can intercept or set up malicious hotspots and steal your data. For more information on safe usage of public WiFi, go to WiFi Hotspot Security. Alternatively, the device can become infected with malware. Any device connecting to this device, whether by email or IT infrastructure, is then also at risk of being infected. Mobile device security is so important to both implement and educate people on.
Mobile Device Security
When allocating mobile devices to employees or setting up a BYOD policy, make sure the employee is aware of the dangers, including how to physically protect the device. Make it clear that the employee is responsible for the device and any actions or behaviours involving that device. Include mobile usage in the employee handbook so everyone knows the dos and don’ts. Then finally, install a security software or app. If the device were to be stolen, this app would track the device, disable any functions, sound an alarm and take a photo of the person attempting to gain access to the device. To ensure this person cannot gain access, set up a PIN, password, fingerprint or face ID, so only the authorised person can unlock the device.
There are many forms of fraud compromising mobile device security. Some persuade you to purchase phone related products and services. Those who fall for these end up with dodgy services or even none at all. Some fraud also involves premium rate phone lines or subscriptions which people fall for and become a victim of.
Missed call scam
You receive a missed call from an unknown number and return the call. This is not a malicious call; however, you are redirected to a premium rate line potentially costing you up to £15 per call.
Recorded message scam
You receive a voicemail from an unknown number and you call back. There is a recorded message explaining that you have won a prize and to call a number to receive it. This number that you call is a premium rate line and the prize is usually a ringtone which you end up unintentionally subscribing to a ringtone membership which is usually fake.
You receive a text message from an unknown number which appears to be someone you know. The text reads something along the lines of ‘Hey, I’m back from holiday! Are you free this week for a catch up?’. You then call or text the person back explaining you think they have the wrong number. You are then charged a premium rate for calling, or end up in a long SMS chain, charging you a lot.
Ring tone scam
An offer for a ‘free’ or cheap ringtone catches people out. When they accept the offer, they are then involuntarily subscribed to a service which sends regular ringtones for a high price. Many of the ringtone companies are real, but there are a lot of fake ones around.
When you purchase a new mobile phone, you are a target to fraudsters who call you and try to sell fake or dodgy phone insurance, pretending to be from the company you purchased your phone from.
Things to watch out for
- Messages, calls and voicemails from unknown numbers
- Free or cheap ringtones
Protect yourself and your business
- Some phone providers have their own security policy to protect your data and usually this is protected by a security question or PIN
- Make sure your phone is password/code protected and you never store any passwords or bank details on your phone incase it becomes stolen
- Don’t visit suspicious looking URLs on your device
- Don’t respond or call unknown numbers
- If you sell a device, completely factory reset it first, so all your personal information is wiped
- Put PIN access on for voicemails by calling your service provider
- Enable tracking apps or features in the event of your device being stolen
- When you upgrade your mobile phone contract, watch out for fraudulent mobile phone insurance companies trying to get you to invest in their dodgy or fake phone insurance
- If your phone is stolen, call your service provider and get your phone blacklisted and deactivated
- Change any passwords to accounts on your device
- Phone us straight away on 0800 680 00 88 and report it to Action Fraud