These days people tend to rely on their mobile devices more than ever, and while everyone believes they need to protect their devices, many people don’t really know what is required for mobile data security. Simply having a lock code on your phone or a password on your laptop or tablet isn’t enough. Passwords and pin codes are a great way to keep the average person from peeking at your devices when you aren’t around, but to a “hacker” or even a skilled IT professional, they are little more than an inconvenience.
Passwords Don’t Protect Your Mobile Data
Everyone believes that their passwords protect their data but that is wrong. Passwords prevent people from picking up a phone or computer and simply using it. They protect the operating system. Your data is stored either on a hard drive in the computer or on the internal memory of your phone. For computers like laptops it takes only minutes for that hard drive to be removed and connected to another computer. The data can simply be copied off and saved elsewhere. There are also tools that can be used to boot the computer using an external drive that will allow the password to be removed. Another thing people don’t know is that phones also have a way to boot them up to a diagnostics screen and from there the phone can be plugged into a computer and the data copied off just as easily. Both methods bypass the operating system on the machine, and thus bypass the passwords protecting those operating systems.
The question is how we then protect our data. Most phones already come with an option to encrypt the device. Many of those are encrypted by default. Windows computers have methods built in that allow you to encrypt the storage as well but there are also third-party software packages available for use in encrypting local storage.
But how does this protect our data?
Encryption Protects Your Mobile Data
When you add encryption to the storage of a laptop or other mobile device, you are making it unreadable without the key. The key to accessing the data is then embedded into the operating system meaning the methods mentioned above can’t be used because whatever computer you connect the storage to will not be able to make sense of that data. Now is when having a good password is important. Your data is encrypted and only that device’s operating system knows how to access the data. As I said above, the password protects the operating system.
So, by adding encryption alongside a strong password, your data will now be far more secure and in the unfortunate event that a device is lost or stolen you can feel a bit more confident that your private data is not at risk.
Have any questions about mobile data security? Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.