Devices like smartphones have increasingly brought the office to wherever we are. While some countries have introduced laws banning work-related communication over weekends and after hours – one French legislator described how workers “leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash – like a dog” – some organisations have pointed out the significant security threats associated with always having access to sensitive information.

If you use your smartphone for work, you might want to keep these five security threats in mind, and take care to keep all your work information safe.

1. Out-of-date devices

The website Security Boulevard has identified one of the top threats to mobile security as devices that run outdated software or operating systems. Devices that are not updated may be a soft spot where security can be breached in order to gain access to sensitive information. Any device that has IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities is at risk here: tablets, smartphones, smart watches or any other devices that are used to connect to the corporate network needs to be updated as often as updates become available.

2. Phishing scams

Many of us might have received an email which prompts us to click on a link that is suspect. Take care to not click on any link contained in an email if you are not completely sure who the email is from. As our work and personal email inboxes sit comfortably next to one another on our phones, the chances of unintentionally dragging your employer into a phishing scam are very real.

3. Data leakage

In the past few years, even the biggest corporations have been faced with scandals relating to the leaking of confidential data. The general recommendation is to not save sensitive data to your personal cloud storage account, where it can be accessed by people with malicious intent.

4. Wi-Fi interference

Security Boulevard notes the danger of using public Wi-Fi hotspots when you have work-related information on your smartphone. It doesn’t take long for sophisticated hackers to gain access to information on a smartphone when it is connected to an open Wi-Fi network. If you do use your phone for work, rather only connect to networks which have been secured with a virtual private network (VPN).

5. Passwords

We hear it so often, but using the same password for multiple accounts puts your data (and the data that your employer might view as confidential) at definite risk. Use a different password for every account, and set up two-factor authentication on all your accounts for an extra layer of security.

Perhaps the best way to keep work-related information safe is to only access it at work and via a secure VPN, but until our own country introduces legislation that bans our employers from keeping us on a tight electronic leash, there are ways to keep your information, together with sensitive work-related information, safe and secure.

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