Lessons on Cyber Security

Due to the many television shows and movies that depict viruses being spread through USB Drives, everyone is pretty familiar with Cyber Security 101: Don’t plug any unknown device into your computer. But, cyber security goes so much beyond that one rule. Therefore, we have decided to dedicate April to Cyber Security. While we are not experts, we have done our research on the subject.

This Week’s Lesson: Protecting Your Tablet.

cybersecuritytabletMost businessmen and women use their tablet for just that… business! If you are among these tech-savvy people, you are most likely accessing bank account information and storing proprietary client information on your tablet.

The top three risks to tablets are:

  1. Untrusted applications
    Downloading untrusted apps to your tablet makes you ripe for malware attacks. These applications can contain malware or viruses that infect your tablet and allow hackers to steal your sensitive data.
  2. Untrusted and vulnerable networks
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth allows your tablet to be “discoverable” to other devices, such as your keyboard or headset… but it also allows hackers access.Unprotected Home or Public Wi-Fi: Malicious attackers are also able to attack you if you connect to public Wi-Fi or have un-password protected home Wi-Fi.Public Wi-Fi Hotspots: Just like unknown USB Drives, a public Wi-Fi hotspot should raise a red flag. This most often means that attackers are on the hunt.
  3. A lost or stolen device

If you took away the use of applications and networks, you’re tablet would be useless. So, what are your options?

Here are a few ways to minimize these risks:  *Some of these tips may require help or explanation from your IT department.

  1. Minimizing the risk of downloading applications.
    • Only download applications from trusted sources, such as well-known, high-rated applications, applications from reputable and verified vendors, or applications backed by your device manufacturer.
    • Read through what the application will have access to. If the application does not provide the information, don’t download it.
    • Run an anti-malware software on your tablet periodically and take the appropriate action if suspicious applications are identified.
    • Do not jailbreak your tablet.
  2. Minimizing the risk of accessing networks.
    • Set up a local firewall to filter inbound and outbound traffic and block malicious software.
    • Disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use.
    • Password protect your home WiFi, use a VPN connection, or ensure that traffic is encrypted when you’re in a semi-trusted environment (AKA: call your IT guys!).
    • When using Bluetooth, set it to “non-discoverable” mode, making it invisible to unauthenticated devices.
  3. Minimizing the risk of your device being lost or stolen.
    While we can’t give you any tips on how to make sure your tablet never gets lost or stolen, we can help you protect the data on it if it ever does:

    • Password protect your tablet using a strong password or PIN.
    • Change your password periodically.
    • Set an idle timeout that will lock the device automatically after it reaches a set length of time of being unused.
    • Enable a remote wiping feature to erase all data on the device if it is misplaced or stolen.
    • If your tablet supports location tracking, activate your GPS so you can track it if it is lost or stolen.

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