Archive for category Security

Vodafone Guardian – Vodafone’s new child protection app

Do you have kids or younger brothers and sisters with mobiles? If so, how well protected are they?

Today Vodafone has launched Vodafone Guardian, a free-to-download Android app which puts protecting young people from unwanted calls and texts, or misuse of the internet, firmly in the hands of parents and carers.

More sophisticated than standard content barring, the new app can be set up by choosing a specific age range, or features can be set individually. Children and parents can discuss specific preferences and program the mobile to control who can call or text, or to bar internet access at certain times of day. There is even a secure ‘vault’ facility for texts from unknown or blocked numbers.

Vodafone Guardian is password protected and any unauthorised change to the settings sends a text alert to the parent or carer. It also has features that allow older teenagers and adults to control who contacts them, without the need for a password.

Latest Ofcom research suggests 18% of 5 to 11 year olds now own a smartphone. Among 12 to 15 year olds, this rises to over one third. Social networking, emailing, sharing photos and watching videos via mobile brings clear benefits but isn’t without its risks. Vodafone’s new app gives people a way to manage these concerns, it’s easy to use and set up, and can be downloaded to most popular Android devices.

Customers can download Vodafone Guardian onto their kids’ phones from Android Market. Vodafone also have a  Digital Parenting app with useful info and tips about your child’s digital world.


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Most UK SMBs unclear about mobile device security

The majority (93%) of directors in UK SMBs believe that mobile working is either a continuing or rising trend, according to the ‘Mobile Working Report’ from business ISP Timico. OnePoll questioned 200 directors of UK SMBs from the public to the private sector and found that 40 percent of employees at small businesses (fewer than 300 staff) work away from the office; rising to 75 percent in medium-sized businesses (over 300 staff).
Despite the increasing trend, 61 percent of respondents said that data on company business devices was either not protected or that they didn’t know whether it was and 76 percent of businesses had to deal with lost or stolen devices each year.
In addition, 42.5 percent of directors had to spend some time every week resolving problems caused by lost or stolen devices or by employees’ own devices causing issues with work IT. Almost three quarters (72%) were concerned about employees bringing their own devices to work, with security being the main area of concern. A large majority (81.5%) of directors would probably allow own devices if there was a Mobile Device Management service that offered protection of company data held on an employee’s own device.

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Vodafone statement re. Sure Signal

Overnight on July 12, a claim appeared that hackers had found security loopholes in Vodafone Sure Signal which could compromise the security of Vodafone’s network. This is untrue: the Vodafone network has not been compromised.

The claims regarding Vodafone Sure Signal, which is a signal booster used indoors, relate to a vulnerability that was detected at the start of 2010. A security patch was issued a few weeks later automatically to all Sure Signal boxes.

As a result, Vodafone Sure Signal customers do not need to take any action to secure their device. We monitor the security of all of our products and services on an ongoing basis and will continue to do so.

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How safe is the data in your mobile?

In a study carried out in Chicago 85,000 mobile phones were found left in taxis in a six month period. That’s four handsets in each taxi. What would you lose if your phone went missing?

It may sound simple, but it’s surprising how many people forget to back up their handsets and sim cards. Add an extra level of security by using your password or pin codes. Many Smartphones have an option to encrypt the data on memory cards. Also, look out for programs that allow you to remotely wipe your handset if it is stolen, often these include the capability to track devices too (for example, MobileMe for iPhones).

If devices are being shared between employees or being used for both work and personal use, you can set usage and access restrictions – for example on high risk websites whose content could negatively impact your business.

Last but not least, if a user leaves the company you can use the factory re-set application to wipe any sensitively stored information on the device before passing it on to another employee But technological solutions aren’t foolproof and they do nothing to solve the issues associated with determining which employees are given mobile devices, how the devices are to be used or how the costs are determined. Nor do such technology solutions do much to ensure employees use these devices as intended! That’s where policies come in.

A well-crafted mobile device policy can eliminate the various administrative headaches that so often arise with these devices in corporate environments. If you would like a free guide to writing a mobile phone policy please email us.

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