Tips for safeguarding mobile phones, information
by AccountingWEB on
Mobile phones are an essential business tool and, while the technology lets you keep in touch from nearly any location, there are some serious security issues.
As phones and telecom-capable personal digital assistants (PDAs) become increasingly smaller, they have become easier to lose and steal. Moreover, with their growing capabilities for storing personal and business information, they are becoming more desirable for thieves and play a growing role in identity theft.
And it's not just the mobile phone user who loses out. Businesses also suffer.
Employees find themselves without their business contacts – as well as critical and sensitive corporate information – that were stored on the devices. Even more devastating is when an employee's stolen PDA is connected to a company's network, thus compromising vast amounts of data.
Some manufacturers include chips on handheld devices that allow the owner to remotely disable the device if it is lost or stolen. Virtual Private Network software also can be added to PDAs to protect those devices if they fall into the wrong hands.
While mobile phone makers are taking steps to solve the problem, there are security precautions your company can take.
For example, install security features on phones that enable an alarm to be activated if the devices are lost or stolen. You also can set the phones up to show a permanent text in the display area (for example, a name and office phone number).
Stress the importance to staff members of keeping devices and data safe. Bring in a security expert to explain the basics of protecting your assets, and reward employees for compliance when possible.
Additional steps to help prevent theft and improve the chances of recovering phones include:
- Locking the phone with a password.
- Keeping track of where the phone is, never leaving it unattended.
- Reading phone contracts carefully – some contracts provide for specific steps you must take if your phone is stolen.
- Notifying the police immediately so there is a written record of any theft.
- Calling the phone company to report the theft. Make a note of the time of the call, who you talked to and the person's job title. This can help later if the company says the theft wasn't reported and you have thousands of phone charges on your next bill.
- Recording the phone's International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This can assist the police in proving the phone was stolen.
- Activating PIN numbers, which prevent unauthorized calls being made on your phone if it is stolen.
- Marking the phone and the battery with some identifying, but not identity-revealing, text.
Reprinted with permission from BizActions.
You may like these other stories...
Steve Jobs. Sergey Brin. Mark Zuckerberg. Each of these individuals, and their companies, are celebrated as changing the face of the technology. They all followed a similar path to success: excelling at one thing and...
Read more articles by Sally Glick here.While reading a recent article titled, "Bondage to Busyness," by Alan Morinis, I was struck by his reminder regarding how stressed and pressured we all are today. Our...
To assist firm leaders in making key decisions for the future, BKR International, one of the top 10 global accounting associations. recently put together a list of the five priorities managing partners must address...
Upcoming CPE Webinars
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience's communication style.
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.