Mobile phones, tablets, and laptops continue to provide us with the opportunity to work and socialize "on the go," but this added convenience could also mean more risk. Mobile devices are making it easier to store and access information, but they are also super easy to steal or misplace. We love our devices, so it's important we know how to protect them.
This third week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month focuses on a few security precautions for mobile devices so you can enjoy the conveniences of technology with peace of mind while you are on the go.
- Secure your devices. Use a passphrase, password, or fingerprint to secure your device from casual intrusion.
- Turn on location tracking. If your device has a "Find Me" feature (such as Apple's iCloud service to "Find My iPhone") make sure it is enabled. Or investigate third-party software to help you recover your devices.
- Encrypt and backup information. Determine if your device encrypts your data at rest. That way if it's stolen, you just lose the device and don't open yourself to identity theft. If your device doesn't use encryption by default, enable it or install encryption software. Don't forget to backup information on all of your mobile devices too.
- Write it down! Record the manufacturer, model, and serial numbers of your mobile devices and store the info in a safe place. Notify providers. Keep important phone numbers such as your cell phone provider or IT support department handy so you can quickly report the device as lost or stolen. In some cases the cell provider or your support desk may be able to deactivate and wipe the device for you remotely.
- File a report. If your device is stolen, file a police report immediately. If you used the device for work, notify your supervisor and also report it to the ITS Support Center.
More information about mobile device safety, visit: http://its.ucsc.edu/security/mobile.html
Mobile Device Resources
- How to secure your smartphone (covers iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows phone)
- Safety tips for mobile devices
- How to secure your mobile wallet
- Cybersecurity while traveling
- How to dispose of your mobile device
UCSC Security Resources
- Information Security Home
- Top 10 Good Computing Practices
- How to Stay Secure
- Report a Security Incident
- Security Training
Photo credit: Luke Wroblewski