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Smartphone usage and data privacy

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Smartphone usage and data privacy
Smartphones capable of receiving voice calls, as well as SMS and email messages, simplify communication. Unfortunately, rampant use of smartphones can also affect the confidentiality of business messages. For example, almost everyone accesses email on their mobile phones, which may mean that sensitive data is stored on an insecure device.

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Smartphone Vulnerabilities
Sending and receiving confidential information on mobile devices is dangerous due to problems with hacking. Users often use insecure Wi-Fi connections away from their homes and offices. Unfortunately, hackers can easily invade your device! Moreover, mobile applications often do not encrypt data before transfers, making this data vulnerable while it is in transit.

Using free Wi-Fi at a local coffee shop is not the only threat to data privacy on your smartphone. Smartphone theft is a real and growing problem. According to Consumer Reports, more than 3 million mobile phones were stolen last year. The most common scenario of the theft of a cell phone assumes that the owner forgets the cell phone in a public place, as well as cases of theft from a car or apartment.

In addition, smartphones can also be infected by malware. In fact, the Android operating system is the most targeted platform in the world among hackers, not Windows. According to McAfee, mobile malware grew by 33% only in 2013, and by 2018 by 54%.

Few users actively protect their mobile devices from computer viruses and spyware. Most mobile devices do not have pre-installed security, and many users do nothing with it. Some do not even password protect their phones.

Overcoming smartphone vulnerabilities
Some large companies, concerned about the confidentiality of their data, often have strict mobile device security rules in connection with these and other problems. For example, they can provide their own mobile devices released by the company, and provide data protection with antivirus. They may also need to use virtual storage for financial documents and other confidential files.

However, no matter how secure your company’s mobile devices are and how well written their security policies are, you have no control over how people outside your company are protected and use their own phones. Thus, sending confidential files or revealing confidential information to an investor or a third-party partner using email or a file-sharing application can be more risky than you understand.

Although you cannot control how others protect their mobile devices, you can control how you share your data. Perhaps one of the most important first steps is to stop using email as a file sharing mechanism and move to virtual data warehouses. In virtual storage, you can assign individual user permissions, require two-factor authentication, and prevent users from downloading documents by specifying documents as read-only.

Sending confidential data by e-mail is too risky both in terms of vulnerabilities during transit, and for the possibility of placing your data on insecure mobile devices. Do not rely on others to protect your data; use a proactive approach using virtual storage.

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