How Careful Are You with Protecting Company Data When Traveling?

Many organizations issue smartphones to their employees for business purposes and let their staffers use these devices for personal matters as well, so they won’t have to carry around two mobile devices.

If your company’s IT department does not require you to let them remotely wipe your mobile device in the event that it is stolen or irretrievably lost, you have a greater responsibility to ensure that you are safeguarding vital business documents.

For example, you might have some confidential memos leading up to a contract negotiation or a variety of other serious documents in your email app, but you have forgotten to control access to your email with a password.

The more you travel, the more opportunities there are for you to leave your mobile device behind while distracted by business negotiations as well as for criminals to pick your pocket or steal your briefcase. There are countless stories of business travelers forgetting their laptops and phones in public places, potentially exposing company secrets to unauthorized viewers.

What’s more, you might have your personal credit card and other financial information on your device, making it irresistible to criminals and unethical people who stumble upon your lost laptop or phone.

Tips to Improve Security While Traveling on Business

Back up all your vital information before going on the road. You might need to recover data if your device becomes unavailable.

Don’t leave laptops, tablet computers or smartphones out of your sight when you are traveling in an unfamiliar city. You don’t want to get lulled into a false sense of security just because the area looks safe.

Do you password-protect your phone, laptop or tablet computer? If not, you should do so immediately. Select a password that includes upper and lower-case characters and numbers, and don’t use a word that appears in the dictionary. Combine two words or make up a password by using the first letters of a phrase that you can easily remember. Longer passphrases are more secure than short ones that contain your spouse’s name or your favorite food.

Take advantage of a remote wiping app for your Android or Apple device. Once enabled, you can delete all data on your smartphone in the event that it goes missing, using another smartphone or a computer with Internet access. Later, you can restore information to a replacement device from your backups.

No one wants to think that he or she might become a victim of crime while traveling, but it’s prudent to take steps to protect any company data on your mobile devices now before you book your next trip.

Posted on Jan 28 2015

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