Mobile Device Safety Tips For Commercial Printing Executives

Image of a mobile phone with a chain and padlock on it as a symbol of mobile device safety

Mobile Device Safety Tips For Commercial Printing Executives

It is safe to say that most executives of commercial printing businesses are tied to their mobile phones. Given the sensitive nature of the customer data they sometimes have to manage and communicate, mobile device safety is very important.

Commercial printing executives sometimes have a crazy schedule, and usually have to deal with the erratic demands from customers who want the job done now, on the fly – even when Print-on-Demand customers submit design materials late, or approve proofs at the last minute.

Mobile devices come in handy for looking up requests for quotes, proof approvals, sending files to customers, and browsing websites. At times, when there is a little break from the hectic schedule, mobile devices allow us to keep in contact with friends and family, buy stuff, and pay bills.

Mobile devices can be a double-edged sword. They allow us to store data, contact information, photos, emails and files; and when we can afford to take breaks, provide a source for entertainment.

They could also be a major source of headaches by exposing users to malicious software.

Not managing their usage properly can lead to situations where all that personal information and valuable data, not to mention the information of customers and partners, could be at risk.

Mobile Threats                                                             

Cyber-criminals are continuously looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in apps, operating systems, and software, trying to capitalize on security flaws before manufacturers find and patch them. They primarily target user data—from credit card credentials to email passwords and contact lists. Malicious actors also try to trick users into downloading adware or subscribing to paid services.

Cyber-criminals use different techniques with the help of malicious software, to mine information like credit card credentials from users of App Stores, or intercepting communication between users and commercial entities like banks. Sometimes, these malicious software pretend to be apps like Google Chrome, or other popular productivity tool, and trick users into installing an “update” that is actually a virus. The ultimate goal is to collect sensitive data like bank credentials, listen in on phone calls and read text messages.

One development that should be of concern to commercial printing executives is the movement of ransomware into the  mobile device space.  Researchers at Trend Micro  noted a staggering 1100% increase in unique samples of detected ransomware, based on data collected from April 2015 until August 2016. According to Trend Micro, Mobile ransomware can lock the screen of mobile device of victims, pretending to be a law enforcement agency (FBI or another agency) and demand a ransom through an online payment service.

Mobile Device Safety Tip

Here are some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of malicious apps on your mobile devices:

  • Regularly update the operating system and apps. New vulnerabilities are always discovered, and vendors work to quickly patch their applications and software. For the users, updating is essential for keeping mobile devices as secure as possible.
  • Download apps from trusted sources. One good rule of thumb for mobile device safety is to avoid using apps from unofficial sources. According to a 2016 Android Security Review by Google, Potentially Harmful Apps (PHA) are still the biggest threat to Android users. Certain third-party app stores have proven to be more likely carriers of malicious apps, so always download from trusted sources. Users should also do their due diligence and check reviews or comments on the app page to make sure it is legitimate.
  • Know the risks of rooting. Manufacturers place security restrictions and safeguards on their devices to safeguard users. Rooting removes these limitations, leaving the system more vulnerable to malware and other threats.
  • Avoid connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi. A major mobile device safety measure is to turn off the automatic Wi-Fi connection feature. Public hotspots are not secure, and connecting to them can expose the device to a multitude of risks. If connecting is necessary, avoid logging into key accounts or financial services.
    Setting up a VPN is also a good way to secure data sent and received online.
  • Be wary of unsolicited calls or messages. Attackers use a variety of methods to get users to download malware or reveal personal information. Any messages, calls, or emails from unknown senders should be scanned or well-vetted.
  • Back up your files. Protect important data from ransomware threats by regularly backing up files. There are many different ways to store mobile device data—from synching with paired PCs to cloud services or even apps. Efficient programs can automatically back up mobile device data on a set timeline, which is convenient for the user.

And here are good privacy tips that can help protect personal information on mobile devices:

  • Set automatic locks on mobile devices. Ensure that the mobile device locks automatically, and has a strong passcode—a simple pattern or swipe password isn’t much of a deterrent. If a device is lost or stolen, a strong password prevents anyone from quickly peeking at personal information.
  • Limit the personal information given to apps and websites. When signing up for a new service or downloading a new app, registration often requires personal information. Be wary of revealing too much, and research on how secure the application or site is before logging on.
  • Manage what is shared online. Another mobile device safety tip is make sure to use privacy settings on social media apps and sites. Some sites can broadcast location, email, phone numbers, or more to the public by default.
  • Be aware of the scope of app permissions. Apps sometimes require more than the basic default permissions. Make sure the installed apps only have access to features they need.

Commercial Printing Executives should invest in multilayered mobile security solutions that can protect mobile devices against online threats, malicious applications, and even data loss. For a comprehensive mobile device safety, Tech Prognosis offers Mobile Device Management Services with advanced protection capabilities that can identify known threats and prevent them from damaging mobile devices or compromising data.

Additional content sourced from Trend Micro, Google, and IBM.