That shared family tablet could end up costing you (and your boss) plenty

tablet securityThanks to generous “BYOD” policies, portable and convenient tablets are widely used to access work-related information. Almost 70% of those who own a tablet or smartphone use their device to access corporate data, according Ovum’s 2013 Multi-Market BYOD Employee Survey.

But bringing your own device comes at a steep cost to your company. The risk to users’ information and to their company information goes through the roof when tablets are used to connect to WiFi hotspots. That’s because tablets aren’t any more secure than smartphones. According to Javelin’s 2014 Identity Fraud Report, less than half of tablet users use security software, leaving them open to malicious downloads.

And when families share tablets the risk becomes even greater. What happens, when a child, for example, connects to a WiFi hotspot – the vast majority of which are not secure – using the family device? Your child may just be motivated to get on the Internet quickly and may be more likely to ignore warning signs or choose unknown wireless access points because they’re free. That could spell trouble, not only for your family’s tablet and the personal information stored on them, but also for your company’s confidential data.

Here are 5 tips to protect your shared family tablet :

  • Make sure you have the most up-to-date operating system version and, where possible, antivirus and anti-malware software. Hackers use sophisticated tools to crack passwords. Use strong passwords composed of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • If you’re thinking of downloading apps to increase your tablet’s functionality, remember that hackers can use bad apps to install malware on your device. Only download apps from trusted sources.
  • Tweak your tablet’s settings so that you have to manually, not automatically, connect to new WiFi networks.
  • Make sure the hotspot you’re connecting to is the real one, not a fake designed to steal your data. And turn off your WiFi when not in use.
  • Taking your tablet online can expose you to a wide variety of security risks – especially if you’re using a public hotspot instead of your home network. Never expose your sensitive information at hotspots without using VPN software. A virtual private network like PRIVATE WiFi gives you a secure way to surf the Web by encrypting all the data traveling to and from your tablet. That makes it invisible to hackers.



Join in the discussion

  • John says:

    “According to Javelin’s 2014 Identity Fraud Report, less than half of tablet users use security software, leaving them open to malicious downloads.”

    This is why Android provides the option of blocking “sideloading”; downloading apps from websites other than Google Play. Does Android suffer from the “drive by” downloads which plague browsing with a poorly defended Windows computer?

    “If you’re thinking of downloading apps to increase your tablet’s functionality, remember that hackers can use bad apps to install malware on your device. Only download apps from trusted sources.”

    Google Play is not immune to being used by the promoters of malicious apps, but Google does attempt to analyse the behaviour of the apps which Google Play attempts to promote. However, wherever you choose to find apps, Norton Spot should be a helpful tool for dodging dodgy apps.

    “Using the share feature on Google Play, simply “share” the app you wish to download with us [Symantec] and we’ll provide you [with] information that Google Play doesn’t.”

    “A virtual private network like PRIVATE WiFi…” ? As there is no link provided for the PRIVATE WiFi website, does that mean we have to “google” for the website URLs? Not a good idea if the surfer has not discovered how to check up on a website before going there!

    NoVirusThanks Company Srl provide a “Website Reputation Checker Tool” and an IP address blacklist checking service which purport to collect the output from 29 website reputation services and 36 IP Address blacklists. The website reputation checker tool and the IP address blacklist service should be used to obtain access to the services which they list. Unfortunately, NoVirusThanks Company has yet to get these two services to read their sources reliably.

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