This week we celebrate the anniversary of the mobile phone. But first, we need to locate our phones.

The Mobile Phone Turns 30

Thirty years ago this month, the mobile phone was born. The technology that eventually gave way to the mobile enterprise started out as the Osborne 1, the first mass-produced portable computer.


The Osborne weighed in at 24 pounds, had only a 5-inch monochrome display and cost $1,795. Though it only lasted for two years in the marketplace, it inspired mobile technology innovation, which slowly developed and then exploded roughly 20 years after. Today, instead of taking your smartphone or tablet device for granted, take a moment and sing Happy Birthday or better yet, make it your ringtone!

Do You Know Where Your Smartphone Is?

According to a new study, approximately one-third of mobile phone owners would notice they’ve lost their phone within 15 minutes, with 17% noticing its loss within 5 minutes and the majority of 61% within the hour.

Researchers with YouGov, the company that carried out the survey of almost 2,000 people on behalf of SecurEnvoy, found that men would notice their phones were missing more quickly than women mobile phone owners; 40% male vs. 29% female indicated that they would notice within 15 minutes.

Younger mobile phone users were also far more likely to notice their phone had gone missing sooner, with 28% of aged 18-24 saying they would notice their mobile going MIA within 5 minutes of losing it, a timespan that tends to fall steadily through the age groups to 13% in the 55-plus age range.

There’s much to infer from this study -- most noticeably, that the more integrated your mobile phone is with your life, the less likely you’ll be without it long enough for it to go missing.  

Protecting Your Information When Accessing Wi-Fi

It’s no secret that public Wi-Fi is not the best way to get work done. Besides rarely being encrypted, Wi-Fi connections aren’t subject to much protection from mobile devices, which don't incorporate security features to combat Wi-Fi threats. Yet, mobile devices are supposed to help us more productive when on the go. So how can you keep your information secure?

Eric Geier of eSecurity Planet recommends a few tips in a recent blog post. While there are a variety of applications can help encrypt data, there are still a few cracks through which information can leak. A user’s best defense, say Geier, is to use your data plan and “limit your usage of hotspots.” Although connection may be slower, most cell service providers encrypt the traffic between cell towers and your device.

If security is a top concern, you may want to consider using a virtual private network (VPN) on both your Wi-Fi and cell data connections. Geier says

When connected to a VPN, all your Internet traffic travels through an encrypted tunnel, guarding it from local eavesdroppers. It protects your traffic and passwords not already encrypted and gives encrypted traffic 2X encryption."

Ultimately, encryption is key for protecting data when using a Wi-Fi network. If it’s necessary for employees to gain access to information from within a company’s network while on the go, it’s essential that all employees understand how to best keep information secure.