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Rise in business mobile use cause of phone-loss phobia

Two-thirds of the population now suffer from ‘nomophobia’, the fear of being without or losing their phone, and it’s because business commitments mean we’ve never been more attached to our mobile phones, and they’ve never held quite so much sensitive information.

According to a SecurEnvoy survey of 1,000 employed people, 66 percent of the population now experience nomophobia (short for no-mobile-phone-phobia), with almost half of us carrying two or more mobiles to stay connected.

With 58 percent of people using at least one of their devices for business, and 46 percent not using any security protection at all, it’s not difficult to understand why people feel such high levels of anxiety about losing a mobile phone.

They survey found 41 percent of people use only a four pin access code as security, just 10 percent encrypt their device and only 3 percent use two-factor authentication.

SecurEnvoy CTO and co-founder Andy Kemshall said this lack of security is “a worrying trend that needs addressing.”

Enbox’ marketing head Hamish Anderson told Dynamic Business boosting mobile security doesn’t need to be a difficult task. He has these four tips for improving security on your phone:

1. With computers getting more and more powerful, the time to crack a 4 digit PIN is significantly low. Current (generous) estimates put the time to crack a 4 digit pin at just 18 minutes. If you carry sensitive information on your mobile or smartphone, consider using a phone access PIN which has over 6 digits. It may seem excessive, but the extra time taken to crack your phone’s first security measure is time you gain in remotely locking someone out.

2. Download and install a reputable security app which you can use to locate your phone, disable your phone remotely if required- and depending on the app – or even erase the data on your phone without the knowledge of the thief who has your phone. Apps such as “Lookout Mobile Security” or “MobileMe” are a great solution. Solutions for Blackberry and Windows platforms also exist.

3. To prevent any extra collateral damage, never store passwords on your phone. Often browsers and apps will ask you if you would like them to remember passwords. It is tempting to select “Yes”, however, if your phone is ever stolen and the phone access PIN bypassed, then a thief will have free reign and the ability to use those accounts you have allowed password access to. Whether this is email, bank accounts or other accounts, the potential for loss and damage to you or your company could be huge.

4. Enable data encryption on your phone if you use it for accessing, reading or transmitting sensitive data. When combined with strong log-in passwords, encryption makes unauthorised access to data very difficult.