Man using a mobile phone to make a call.

How To Secure Your Phone: A Guide For Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, you know how important your phone is for your daily operations.

You use it to communicate with your customers, employees, and suppliers, to manage your finances, inventory, and orders and to access and share important documents and data. You might even use it to stay on top of the latest trends and opportunities in your industry.

But do you know how vulnerable your mobile phone is to cyber attacks?

Your phone is not just a device, it’s a computer. And like any computer, it can be hacked, infected, or compromised by malicious actors who want to steal your data, money, or identity.

In fact, according to a study by MIT, a staggering 2.6 billion personal records were breached in 2021 and 2022, and the number was expected to increase in 2023. Moreover, Kaspersky Security Network reported that in the third quarter of 2023 alone, more than 8 million mobile malware, adware, and riskware attacks were blocked, with adware being the most common threat.

The consequences of a cyber attack on your mobile can be devastating for your business.

That’s why you need to take mobile device security seriously. You need to protect your phone and the data it contains from cyber threats and you need to ensure that your phone is not a weak link in your network security. By following best practices and using the latest tools, you’ll be able to keep your phone safe and secure.

In this article, we will show you how to do that. We will explain the new security features that Apple and Android have introduced to protect your phone in 2024.

Apple’s Advanced Data Protection: End-to-End Encryption for Your iCloud Data

If you use an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you probably use iCloud to store and sync your data across your devices. iCloud is a convenient and reliable cloud service that lets you access your photos, messages, notes, contacts, and more from anywhere.

But did you know that iCloud also offers a high level of security for your data?

Apple has always used end-to-end encryption for some of your iCloud data, such as iMessage, iCloud Keychain, and Health data. This means that your data is encrypted on your device before it is uploaded to iCloud, and only your device can decrypt it.

But with a recent update, Apple has rolled out a new feature called Advanced Data Protection (ADP). This feature is an optional setting that offers Apple’s highest level of cloud data security by encrypting more types of data in iCloud, such as iCloud Backup, Notes, Photos, Safari bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, and more.

By activating this setting, you can protect your data in the event of a cloud-based data breach. Only trusted devices added by you can decrypt the information. Not even Apple can access your data.

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

  1. Make sure devices signed in with your Apple ID have been 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. (f you don’t have a recovery contact or key set up, you’ll be prompted to do that first.)
  6. Once a recovery contact/key is set up, return to Settings > iCloud > Advanced Data Protection and tap Turn On Advanced Data Protection.
  7. Follow the prompts.

NOTE: You may be asked to update other devices signed into your iCloud account before enabling end-to-end encryption (E2E). You can also remove devices with old software to continue the process.

If your device is new, for security reasons, Apple might make you wait to enable the feature. If that’s the case, that timeframe will show on your screen during setup.

Android’s Google Play Protect and Google One Backup: Malware Detection and Data Encryption for Your Phone

If you use an Android phone, you may not be aware of the security features that Google has built into its operating system and services. Google Play Protect and Google One Backup are two of the most important ones that you should know about.

Google Play Protect is a security system that analyses every app before it’s available for download on the Google Play Store, and any new apps where a security risk is detected are unable to be accessed. The software also runs daily scans to help identify and disable malware and other harmful applications installed on your phone to protect your data.

Google One Backup is a cloud service that lets you back up your data from your Android device to Google servers. Your data is encrypted with your Google Account password for security purposes. This way, you can restore your data in case you lose your phone or switch to a new device.

Here is how you can keep data secure if you’re using an Android – If you’re using Google One, you can set up automatic backups on your Android device to ensure that if disaster strikes, your data is securely stored in the cloud:

  1. Open the Google One app on your Android.
  2. At the bottom, tap Storage.
  3. Scroll to “Backup” and tap View.
    • If this is your first phone backup, tap Set up data backup.
    • If this isn’t your first phone backup, tap View Details.
  4. To review backup settings, tap Manage backup.
  5. Choose your backup settings. If you get a message to install an app, update an app or change your settings, follow the onscreen steps. Then, go back to the Google One app to finish.
  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.

How To Protect All Of Your Devices.

These features are not the end-all, be-all for phone security, but they will add a layer of protection for your data.

To ensure every device on your network is secure, we recommend getting a third-party Cyber Security Risk Assessment. We offer a free, no-obligation assessment where one of our experts will examine your network and let you know if and where you’re vulnerable to an attack, including your mobile device policy.

As a local North London expert IT Services provider who specialises in helping small businesses, we understand that it can difficult to know where to start to improve your cyber security stance.

If you’re interested in getting a free Cyber Security Risk Assessment from us, click here to schedule your free 30-minute slot or give us a call on 0333 234 4288.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Protect your mobile phone and your business today!

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