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The Dangers of Doing Business in Public

New modern-day smart phone technology has eliminated the need to be strapped to the office desk all day to get work done. Now, any individual that uses a smart phone from any location in the world can perform the duties of their job by gaining access to the company server, along with files, folders and confidential information.

However, we can often become so overzealous with the convenience a smart phone provides that we neglect to understand the dangers of doing business in public.  If you’ve ever heard someone talking business on the phone in a public place it’s easy to understand why.

With today’s technology, it is quite easy to come in direct contact with confidential, private and corporate information without even wanting to. This is often a result of overhearing phone conversations while sitting on a train, plane or in a coffee shop. Aside from it being impolite to listen in or eavesdrop on another individual’s conversation, having it shouted out across the room when the connection is bad, still disseminates the information to everyone within earshot.

Speaking out Loud in Public

It might be true that many business associates recognize that it is not in the company’s best interest to spew details of confidential information in a crowded elevator. This is because of the increased potential of putting information at risk if it is overheard. However, when people are confined in a small space such as on a plane or train for an extended period of time, they often let their guard down.

As a result, it is easy to overhear confidential company or private information. What might be heard is very private information involving corporate decisions. It could also be private information concerning love lives, health problems or other confidential data spoken out loud in vivid detail.

Many times, these individuals will be discussing private information concerning the corporation or their own private life out loud because they assume one of two things. These include:

  • Distance – It might be that individuals believe if they whisper low enough on their smart phone that others around simply can’t overhear the conversation. However, this is a naïve position, especially in this day and age, with advancements in technology.
  • Non-Confidential Information – It may be the individual that is disseminating the information feels as though they are not really telling anything confident out loud. However, even simply half stating a truth concerning confidential information is often enough to understand exactly what the conversation is about. Mentioning names without details might be enough to figure out exactly what is being discussed and about whom.

An Unsecured Connection

Connecting to a free, or even paid, Wi-Fi network in an airport, coffee shop, on the train or nearly anywhere can put confidential and personal information at significant risk. This is because it is easy to begin a “man in the middle” hacking attack on a smart phone, laptop, tablet or other electronic device. Within just a few moments, the cyber thief can gain unauthorized access to the device and possibly the company server. With access, they can garner information concerning emails, text messages, confidential files and folders, along with data concerning financial institutions and bank accounts.

It is quite easy to get connected to an ad hoc network that appears as though it is the real thing. A mobile device attempting to gain a connection with a coffee shop or airport network might in fact be connecting to a personal computer close by.

There are significant risks and dangers of doing business in public that can be devastating to a company and embarrassing to an individual. It can easily disrupt day-to-day business routines or cause financial problems when anyone gets unauthorized information through a public forum.

Additional Resources:

  • Click here to read more about the dangers of unsecured wifi
  • Click here to read more about our cell phone surveillance services