Mobile devices are all the rage ? from combat troops to the president, it’s hard to keep anyone away from their favorite smart phone these days. And in addition to increased demand for applications keeping IT professionals busy, security experts are also taking notice of the trend. They’re citing the importance of keeping mobile devices safe from both malware and viruses, and compromises caused by user error or laziness.

Some federal agencies and local governments have jumped in with both feet, deciding that the benefits of mobile devices outweigh the risks.

Delaware is one of those states. Elayne Starkey, chief security officer for the state, recently traded her Blackberry for an iPhone and offered these simple tips for employees using their personal devices to connect to the state’s network:

  1. Strong password.
  2. Password history.
  3. Password that expires.
  4. Inactivity time out.
  5. Lock out after seven failed attempts to log on.
  6. Remote wipe if device is compromised or failure to log on after seven failed tries.
  7. Encryption, if device is capable of employing it.

They’re simple tips pretty much everyone should take regardless of whether you’re using your device for work. Just like computers themselves, “smart” phones are only as smart as their users, and require a few extra steps to ensure data is secure.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.