While there is no doubt that having the power of an always connected computer in your pocket is huge boon for productivity, it also increases our vulnerability. Staying safe while on the go is currently somewhat of an afterthought for most users. In general, there are many protections applied to nearly all private networks, whether they be in an office or your home. But think for a minute about portable devices and you realize that they spend most of their time connected to public networks with little or no inherent protections.
These devices collectively represent the most vulnerable community of devices and users. In addition to their greater exposure, they also tend to have fewer embedded security features than their desktop predecessors. So what can you do about it? The most powerful tool you have is the application of common sense and cautious skepticism. In a mobile environment, one should be even more diligent knowing that the threat is more likely to reach you and more easily spread.
Think about the rules you already apply online and then consider the increased risk before you act. Anything that you would normally question, such as a suspect link or file attachment can probably wait until you can further investigate. While endpoint security is clearly lacking, network security can be very effective. Simply using a VPN to route your traffic through a secure network can make a big difference. Until we have better security available on mobile devices, the onus is clearly on the users to exercise good judgment.
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