In one, quick, ill-fated click, attackers can grab your private information or monitor activity on your mobile device – just like they would on a desktop computer. Given the importance of securing patient and practice information, particularly in light of HIPAA requirements, security breaches are not an option.

How do attackers distribute malware onto your device?

There are two primary ways hackers gain access to devices.

Phishing messages

  1. EMAILS: Generally, 65% of all emails are opened first on a mobile device. Attackers are sending shorter phishing emails to accommodate the screen size – and to trick you into opening their messages.
  2. TEXTS: Hackers are also sending shortened links via SMS text, called a “smish,” which entice you to check out pictures, coupons, games, and more. Imagine the following sample smish in an SMS “bubble:” Check it out! FREE chips; register 2 play online. http://exam.pl/0445dd3 CODE: PLAY2WIN

Application stores

With millions of mobile applications available, be aware of copycat applications from third-party developers. Only download applications from trusted sources.

Three proven ways to secure your device.

Attackers can steal information from a mobile device easily, even without the use of malware. Here’s how to make your device more secure:

  1. Ensure all smartphones are password protected. Read how to setup a passcode for your iPhone.
  2. Lock your device using a fingerprint. This is called a biometric lock – most new devices have this feature.
  3. Try to use only password-protected networks (WPA or WPA2) and don’t connect to unknown wireless networks. Logging into public Wi-Fi puts your information at risk.

Protect a lost or stolen device.

If your device is lost or stolen, there is little you can do, unless you have already taken measures to secure your device. Here are a few things you can try when the worst has already happened.

  • Lock your phone with a message. Some phones allow you to lock a lost device with a message, such as your name and email address, remotely.
  • Use the “find my phone” feature. Locate your lost device using its GPS. This allows you to retrace your steps to find your phone or determine if someone took it (only works if phone is still turned on). View Android and iPhone-specific instructions on finding your device.
  • Wipe your device clean by erasing all data from your phone remotely. Read iOS or Android instructions on erasing your device.

If you have any questions about device security, reach out!

Stay vigilant!

Like this post? Read more: