Small business owners often wear many hats, and need their technology to do the same.
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Smartphones are often a lifeline for fledgling entrepreneurs, who rely on their ability to multitask. But carrying around your entire business plan and customer list is also a security risk that small business owners need to assess and treat the same way they would if it were a laptop in the office.
Here are some tips from Eduard Goodman, chief privacy officer at Identity Theft 911, on securing the smartphone you use for your small business.
No. 1: Password protect. It seems obvious that any phone that contains serious data like e-mails, account numbers and client information, should be password protected. But Goodman said many small business owners choose convenience instead of security, and don't set a password on their phones.
"You are essentially carrying a little laptop around with you," he said of a smartphone. "If your company issues cell phones, make it a requirement that they have strong passwords. Once you set it and become used to it, it's instinctive after awhile."
No. 2: Clean it out. Just because you have the ability to store e-mails and other private data on your smartphone, it doesn't mean you should let it stay there. Goodman advises cleaning up your e-mails, texts and other stored data periodically.
"Everything from client lists to trade secrets is all there for anyone to access," he said. "People use their e-mail as a data repository—you have to clean it out."
No. 3: Watch your bills. Mobile payment technology scams are becoming more and more common, Goodman said. Make sure that if you are using any type of "text-to-pay" system, or photo deposit system with checks, the recipient is not fraudulent.