Mobile Device Security

Your Mobile Devices Won’t Secure Themselves!

The following tips will help protect your devices and personal information on campus, at home, or at work.

  • Secure your device login screen. Check the settings for each device to enable a screen-lock option, password, or biometric authentication.
  • Encrypt your device and SD card. To prevent someone who has access to your phone from retrieving your personal information you must encrypt it.  If you device accepts expansion cards consider encrypting them too.
  • Not using bluetooth, shut it off. In public places, disable your bluetooth and wireless radio when not in use.  Not only will this preserve your battery life, it will help prevent your device from unauthorized access or connecting to a malicious network.
  • Update often. Install operating system and application updates when they become available.  Only install updates when connected to a "trusted" network.
  • Review apps regularly. Remove any apps you don’t use. Be selective when buying or installing new apps. Install only those from trusted sources and avoid any that ask for unnecessary access to your personal information.
  • Treat devices like cash. Don’t let your devices out of your sight or grasp. Maintain physical control of your device in public areas. Enable the "find-my-device" feature if possible.
  • Sharing in the cloud. Whether using Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, Amazon Drive, or any of the many cloud options, set privacy restrictions on your files to share them only with those you intend. Protect access to your cloud drive with two-factor authentication.
  • Beware open Wi-Fi networks. Avoid making financial transactions or logging into your online accounts while connected to public/open wireless networks; you have no privacy here.  If you must connect, consider using a VPN service.
  • Review your privacy settings. Information about you is shared with the apps you use, the websites you visit and with advertisers.  Review all privacy settings on your device and be sure to check them periodically for any changes.
  • Back it up. Backup your device often, you will thank yourself later.  Your phone can be replaced, photos cannot.
  • Secure disposal. Whether you are recycling or reselling your old device, be sure to securely erase it with a "factory" or "hard" reset.  Encrypt your device prior to erasing it to ensure that your personal information cannot be retrieved.  Do not forget to remove your SD or SIM card!

Additional Resources
Public Wi-Fi Hotspot Security -