Lawyers using smartphones is all the rage right now. Although many large firms use BlackBerry devices, small firms and solo attorneys tend to gravitate towards iPhones and devices running the Android OS.

If you use a phone running Android, you can use the Tasker app to help protect your phone and data from thieves.

First things first—use passwords

Whether you are using a computer or a smartphone, start with the easiest step in security: passwords. Every smartphone has a passcode/password lock feature.

In addition, apps that can access cloud data—like Dropbox—can also be set with an additional password. Using passwords is an easy way to make it tougher for a thief to get into your phone. At a minimum, it should buy you enough time to remotely wipe your phone and/or change all passwords.

Tasker can help if your phone is stolen

Tasker can do all sorts of cool stuff when your phone is in your possession, but it can also help if your phone is missing or stolen.

Generally, you can program Tasker to do a task based on a trigger—a location, a text message, time, etc. Which means that you can setup all sorts of neat ways to protect your phone against a thief. One option is to make your phone automatically call for help when it falls into the wrong hands. Although, I’m not convinced a thief will give you much useful information.

Tasker can also be set to encrypt applications based on a trigger—which is arguably more useful than having your phone call for help. There is also a way to have your phone send text messages with it’s location based on a trigger—which makes it possible to actually recover your phone when stolen. Given all the cool things Tasker can do, I am sure there are other ways you can program it to protect your phone.

Between passwords, encryption, and Tasker, you should be able to secure your smartphone and prevent unauthorized data access.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/enizz/2305508459/)