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Security tips for smartphones

Raise your hand if you have a smartphone (iPhone, Android or BlackBerry device) and use it for more than phone calls. According to the Neilsen Report, 89 per cent of lawyers own smartphones. In today’s techie world, smartphones really are the equivalent of tiny, mobile computers – we communicate, edit and save documents, diarize important dates, listen to music, check our social media accounts – and yet many still do not have adequate security for their devices.

Here are some top security tips, regardless of your device of choice:

  • Encrypt your device: BlackBerry users rejoice – your device has built-in encryption. Simply enable the “Content Protection” option. Setting a PIN on an iPhone enables encryption and Android users have the option as part of their operating system installation.
  • Password protect your device and disable the “Simple Passcode” option so you are able to use more than just a 4-digit code. Beware iPhone users: There is software now that can brute force an iPhone 4 digit code in several minutes.
  • Set a short inactivity timer for your smartphone. This automatically locks the phone after several minutes of inactivity. We recommend two minutes.
  • Enable location services and remote wipe in case you lose your device.
  • Use security software. It should be no surprise that hackers are now targeting smartphones.
  • Always update your device. Vendors continuously provide operating system updates to patch security vulnerabilities and add additional features.

Taking some basic precautions can help protect your information … and help avoid compromising your client’s personal information.

If you have any questions on these or any other risk- or practice-related matters, do not hesitate to contact Stacey Gerrard, LIANS Counsel with the Risk and Practice Management Program, at or call 902 423 1300 ext. 345.