Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

March 02, 2015

Security in Your Mobile World

By TMCnet Special Guest
Margaret Lyons, Director of Customer Success and Project Manager at InfoStreet, Inc.,

Thanks to the cloud, employees now have more flexibility than ever before. The beauty of cloud apps is that they can be accessed anywhere, on any device with an Internet connection. Yet, this freedom can lead to worry. If your cloud app is with you wherever you go, how secure is your data? And with a constant Internet connection, how secure is your mobile device?

Don’t cancel your accounts just yet. The cloud is remarkably secure by design, and with providers like Norton offering mobile security apps, mobile devices are even more protected. Read on as I address a few common concerns about the cloud and mobile.

Can other people access my data?

One of the most common misconceptions that I hear about the cloud suggests that a user’s data is easily accessible to others. This seems to stem from the fact that many cloud apps are designed to host multiple customer accounts on one server, a setup known as multi-tenancy. However, simply using a cloud app is not a recipe for disaster. Each account is entirely separate from the rest. Think about it like corn kernels. They all grow from the same cob, yet each kernel is its own separate entity. The same is true for cloud apps. You’re no more likely to have your data breached by working on a cloud server than you are working on any other Internet-connected application. However, the one thing to consider here is your password. If someone wants in, that will often be the real barrier between them and your data. Make sure to choose a strong password that will be difficult for others to guess – and choose something that has no connection to you. This means that you should never use your wedding date or your pet’s name. Instead, opt for a password that is over eight characters and uses letters, numbers, and symbols.

Should I make payments from my mobile device?

Of course, anyone CAN make payments from their mobile device. But how secure is that transaction? The first habit to get into when making a payment on any device, whether a computer, mobile phone, or tablet, is to make sure that the web address in the address bar has an S after HTTP (it should look like this: HTTPS://….). That S means that the website is using a security certificate and is the first sign of security in an online transaction.

In addition, most desktop and laptop users also have an antivirus installed on their machine that can watch for additional threats when making a purchase online. But what about your mobile device? New security packages, such as Norton’s Mobile Security, add the same level of security you already have on your PC to your mobile phone or tablet. These packages include features to block phishing websites, alert you to potentially malicious apps, and even allow you to remotely delete the information from your device in order to protect your privacy. If you find that you are spending more and more time working from your mobile devices, it may be worth looking into a mobile security package.

What happens if my device is lost or stolen?

It’s every mobile device owner’s worst nightmare: you lose your phone or tablet, and along with it, your photos, files, data, and memories. What do you do? The truth of the matter is, this is a disaster for which you need to plan ahead for. In some cases, your mobile device may have already been equipped with some security measures; for example, Apple products offer iCloud, a cloud server where you can back up your emails, photos, files, and app data. And for any of the cloud apps you use, your data already resides in the cloud – not on your device. This means that you can access your information from any computer, tablet, or mobile phone that has an Internet connection, making it easy and pain-free to access the things that are important to you. So if you lose your device? You can pick yourself up off of the ground without skipping a beat. For an extra measure of security, Norton’s Mobile Security can also help you retrieve your lost or stolen item with features like a “scream” alert that you can use to find your misplaced item, device tracking that logs your device’s location when the battery is about to die, and even a special mode that photographs anyone attempting to use your device. With a little pre-planning, a missing device doesn’t have to be a total loss.

Working in the cloud and on mobile devices are newer concepts in our world, and security concerns are natural. Now that you know how to plan ahead and protect yourself, these worries should be resolved so you can carry on and find success with your work. What security measures do you take for your mobile devices? Tell us below in the comments!

About the author: Margaret has had the pleasure of being the Director of Customer Success and Project Manager at InfoStreet, Inc., for the past five years. Previously, Margaret worked as a real estate consultant and a title company marketing representative, and spent years engaged in volunteer work. In 2013, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from California State University, Northridge, with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and is using her education and experience in her current studies at the University of Washington, in the Human Centered Design and Engineering program.




Edited by Maurice Nagle



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