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Gone are the days when phones were simple communication tools. Today, our phones are powerful handheld devices capable of tasks ranging from financial transactions to video editing. However, this increased functionality brings along heightened security risks.

As mini-computers connected to the internet, phones are susceptible to the same security threats as any other device. Furthermore, they often store sensitive information like bank account details, making them prime targets for cybercriminals.

To underscore the severity of the issue, Apple recently shared a study from MIT, revealing a staggering 2.6 billion personal records breached in 2021 and 2022, with expectations of further increases in 2023. According to the Kaspersky Security Network, in Q3 of 2023 alone, a whopping 8,346,169 mobile malware, adware, and riskware attacks were thwarted, with adware being the most prevalent tactic at 52% of total detected threats.

For business owners, the risks are even more pronounced. Does your organization have a comprehensive mobile policy for employees? Are employees accessing sensitive work documents or accounts using unprotected devices? If you’re uncertain, your IT department must address these concerns promptly, as a single vulnerability can provide a hacker access to your network.

Thankfully, there are now several ways to bolster the security of your mobile devices. Apple and Android have introduced advanced security systems with cutting-edge protective features that you can use today.

Apple:
Apple has long championed end-to-end encryption for iMessage, iCloud Keychain, and Health data. With a recent update, they introduced Advanced Data Protection (ADP), an optional feature offering the highest cloud data security level. ADP encrypts messages in iCloud, iCloud Backup, Notes, Photos, Safari bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, and more. Activating this setting safeguards your data, ensuring that only trusted devices you add can decrypt the information. Not even Apple can access your data.

Here’s how to enable Apple’s Advanced Data Protection Setting:

  1. Ensure that devices signed in with your Apple ID are updated to at least iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1, tvOS 16.2, watchOS 9.2, or later.
  2. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  3. Tap your name at the top.
  4. Select iCloud, scroll to the bottom, and tap Advanced Data Protection.
  5. Tap “Turn On Advanced Data Protection.” (Note: You may be prompted to set up a recovery contact or key if you haven’t already.)
  6. Follow the on-screen prompts.


Android:

While Apple is renowned for its robust security system, Android is just a little behind. Google Play Protect analyzes every app before it’s downloadable, blocking any new apps posing security risks. The software also conducts daily scans to identify and disable malware and other harmful applications on your phone. Additionally, Android backups are regularly uploaded to Google servers and encrypted with your Google Account password for added security.

To keep your data secure on Android, you can set up automatic backups using Google One:

  1. Open the Google One app on your Android device.
  2. Tap “Storage” at the bottom.
  3. Scroll to “Backup” and tap “View.”
    – If it’s your first phone backup, tap “Set up data backup.”
    – If it’s not your first backup, tap “View Details.”
  4. To review backup settings, tap “Manage backup.”
  5. Choose your backup settings. (Follow on-screen steps if prompted to install or update apps.)
  6. If asked, tap “Allow Permissions.”
  7. At the top left, tap “Back.” (Note: Google One backups may take up to 24 hours to complete.)

Ensuring Comprehensive Protection:
While these features enhance mobile security, there are other solutions. We recommend obtaining a third-party Cybersecurity Risk Assessment to safeguard all devices on your network. This assessment is free and non-obligatory, with our experts examining your network to identify vulnerabilities, including your mobile device policy.

Schedule your assessment with one of our senior advisors by calling us at 973-575-4950 or visiting https://ibsre.com/connect-with-ibs/. These measures will add an essential layer of security to your data in an ever-evolving digital landscape.