Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Divisive Security

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Divisive Security

Article excerpt

Q Can you direct me to a good checklist of precautions we should take to secure our employees' mobile devices?

A Security is a hassle, but a necessary hassle. Perhaps this checklist will help you lock down those mobile devices once and for all.

1. Lock it. Require employees to lock their phones using either a personal identification number (PIN), swipe gesture, or fingerprint scan. In addition, make sure the phone self-locks after a short period of inactivity (such as 30 seconds).

2. Back it up. Require employees to configure an automated backup procedure, examples of which are described in the March 2011 Technology Q&A article "I Don't Want to Lose You" (page 63).

3. Use anti-virus software. Run an anti-virus app on your smartphone such as AVG Antivirus for Android Mobiles (free;, Norton Mobile Security ($29.99 for one year; $49.99 for two years;, or Avira Mobile Security (free;

4. Install a locator program. Apps such as Find My iPhone (free; or Android Device Manager (free; can help you locate your phone if it is lost or stolen.

5. Avoid suspicious Wi-Fi. Anyone with a cheap router can set up a seemingly friendly Wi-Fi connection in a crowded location and invite you to use it. But if you do, they can capture your information packets and later possibly extract the passwords you typed. This can occur even when using a wired connection in a hotel room, if the hotel's IT staff is unscrupulous. Play it safe, use your Wi-Fi at home and the office, but if you must use it in other venues, don't enter any passwords unless the website you are connecting to uses encryption. (You can tell if a website uses encryption by looking at the webpage address--if it begins with https://, the "s" portion of this prefix signifies that your connection is securely encrypted.)

6. Employ the self-destruct setting. Many smartphones today can be set to auto-delete all of their contents in the event that someone attempts to access the device using wrong passwords more than a specified number of times consecutively (usually 10 times). …

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