7 steps to take before a phone is lost or stolen

If your firm gives mobile devices to users, there’s a good chance one will get lost or stolen at some point. Here’s what IT should do before that happens.

These are the top seven mobile phone precautions to take now, according to CIO.com:

  1. Secure phones with a password – This should have been done already, but password protection on mobile devices carrying lots of data is important enough that it bears repeating.
  2. Back-up data – While the priority is often keeping the wrong people from seeing the data that’s contained on a lost or stolen phone, it’s also important to consider what the employee will do if that data disappears. Experts recommend regularly backing up data on a PC or the company’s network.
  3. Put the user’s info on the home screen – If a phone is lost, it won’t necessarily be picked up by a greedy individual who will keep it and its data. It may be found by someone who will be happy to return it, which is why they should be able to see the information they need to do so — nothing too personal, just the kind of contact information that appears on a business card.
  4. Keep emergency contacts separate from the phone – These days, most people don’t take the time to memorize any phone numbers. So if a work phone is someone’s primary method of communication, they should keep a list of their most important contacts somewhere else, in case the phone is lost.
  5. Enable remote wipe – All major smartphones have built-in features or add-on apps that allow phones’ data to be wiped remotely. Make sure that’s enabled before phones are handed out.
  6. Reduce the amount of sensitive info on the phone – The best way to keep data from being stolen off of a phone is to avoid putting it on the phone in the first place. Experts recommend only carrying around as much data as is necessary.
  7. Encrypt data, including what’s on media cards – Encryption is one of the best ways to protect data on a mobile device. Keep in mind: Many phones contain slots to add media cards for extra storage, and on some models, encrypting that data requires a different step than encrypting the data stored internally.

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