Top 5 Security Tips for Smartphones

-By Sharon D. Nelson, Esq. and John W. Simek

Nelson and Simek have been frequent presenters at ABA TECHSHOW. Nelson served as Chair of the 2006 TECHSHOW Planning Board. Together, they are the principals of Sensei Enterprises.

At TECHSHOW 2015, Simek will be co-presenting “Pocket Confidential – Securing and Protecting Information on Lawyers’ Mobile Devices,” with Debbie Foster, on Friday, April 17, 2015, at 3:45 PM.

This list is excerpted, condensed, and adapted from the longer, more comprehensive top 16 list Nelson and Simek developed for the materials for that session.

The age of the pocket computer is upon us. Smartphones are no more than small computers that happen to make phone calls. According to a Nielsen report, more than 50% of United States mobile subscribers now own a smartphone. Lawyers, for the first time in memory, are at the technology forefront, with 89% of them owning smartphones. Smartphones are extremely powerful devices, capable of storing contacts, calendar entries, e-mail communications, electronic files, voice messages and a host of additional confidential client information. As an attorney, you have an ethical obligation to protect the client data that is stored on the smartphone. Here are the top 6 actions lawyers can take to protect the data they store on your smartphones.

  • Encryption – Enable encryption and you’ll go a long way towards protecting the data on the phone.
  • Encrypt Expansion Memory – Besides the main memory, be sure to encrypt any memory expansion cards that may be used.
  • Lock Code – This will help prevent unauthorized access to the information.
  • Inactivity Timer – Set a fairly short inactivity timer for your smartphone. This will automatically lock the phone if it hasn’t been used for a period of time.
  • Location Services – Turn on the location services of your smartphone to facilitate finding the phone if it is ever lost.
  • Remote Wipe – Make sure you have the ability to remotely wipe the phone should you lose it.