A lot of us are using our phones and tablets more now than we were last year. Why? Simply put, the COVID-19 pandemic is driving users online more often and they’re choosing to use convenient devices to do so. From shopping and banking to checking email and keeping up with loved ones, our mobile tech is seriously coming in clutch right now. Unfortunately, it’s also presenting some IT safety concerns you might not know about. Here are a few things we should be learning about mobile tech and IT safety during the COVID-19 pandemic that will be essential moving forward.
Lessons We Can Learn About Mobile Tech During COVID-19
From mobile malware FAQs to the dangers of lackluster protection software, here’s what you should know about your mobile devices and IT safety.
- Tablets and Phones Get Viruses Too
We know our computers can catch a virus by visiting questionable websites or clicking on hazardous links. This is commonplace knowledge for even the most moderate computer user, but many think their mobile tech is safe from these dangers.
In reality, phones and tablets are just as susceptible to viruses and hacking. They’re always logged in to either mobile internet or WiFi and constantly being used for everything from work to consumer spending. Because of this, hackers are learning new and inventive ways to get into your phone, whether it be through unprotected cloud services or remote access. Even iPhones and iPads can get viruses when they’re opened to receive third-party apps for the workplace. The key is to have an IT expert help connect you to great protection software. While you can do this yourself, it helps to have an expert’s eye on the matter.
- Protection Software Requires an IT Expert’s Eye
Depending on what sort of mobile device you use, the protection software you install might not do what you think it’s doing. Many free versions of popular brand name software like Norton or AVG are good but lack the full-fledged protection you’d want for your information and data.
An IT expert can help connect you to which sorts of protections you might need for your device. Tablets, for example, likely us internet browsers more than mobile phones, and might require a VPN to help protect you from people who can access your network. Likewise, virus protection is going to vary based on the maker of your device and its operating system. You can go it alone, but you risk downloading (and possibly paying for) something that won’t actually protect you. Plus, the more time we’re spending online, the more harm we could experience if we encounter an IT safety issue.
- More Time Online Can Be Dangerous
Most of us are spending more time online from home. This likely means your tablet and phone are getting more usage than normal. Not to mention, as you use these devices from home, you’re likely taking advantage of a WiFi network that lacks the protections needed for your increased usage
Businesses pay for a certain kind of internet that usually involves firewalls and other protections. Many consumers who purchase WiFi for the home don’t worry about this since they’re likely not doing much work from home. Well, that all changed with COVID-19. While working from home is a perk many enjoyed or continues to do, it’s also more dangerous. An IT expert can help figure out if your internet is safe for your increased mobile device usage. If not, they’ll be able to point you in the direction of what software or hardware you might need to enhance your protection from hackers.
- IT Safety is Still Far From Common Knowledge
Sure, we know not to click on suspicious emails or avoid eerie websites, but there’s so much more to mobile tech safety than the common person knows. If you work in an industry where mobile device usage is common, then you might know some of these dangers. Overall, people still think of their smartphones and tablets as separate from computers. All the while, cybercriminals are targeting these devices more based on lack of protection and increased usage. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, criminals know users are on these devices and likely unprotected.
Many who use a computer regularly install software for protection or enjoy the peace of mind that comes from an IT coworker. The fact remains that many still do not understand what makes mobile devices so susceptible to cybercrime. All in all, it’s going to be a learning process for many during the coming months as the pandemic continues. For example, many use VPNs through their work which came in handy during a remote work Spring.
While some are still working remotely, many are returning to the office at least part-time. Take the initiative to speak with your employer about what options you have to protect your mobile devices. Find out if checking email or other work-related systems is safe on your phone or tablet. It’s going to be much better to ask questions now and learn than cause a headache for you and your boss later.
Mobile tech isn’t going anywhere, and in fact, it’s growing in prevalence. As we move to phones and tablets more for work and other essential online activities, take the current challenges COVID-19 is presenting us to learn more about how to keep you and your information safe.