Cyber Security for Mobile Devices

October 07, 2013

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This week's cyber security article is about mobile devices.

Protect your information!

Mobile devices can store lots of important business and personal information. Where this is the case, they need to be protected like any other computer.

Some quick security tips and pointers:

From the ITS "Mobile Devices and Wireless" web page: http://its.ucsc.edu/security/mobile.html

  • Don't store anything you're not willing to lose or share with the world.
  • Password-protect your mobile device with a complex password, and be sure your device requires a password to start up or resume activity -- but still don't store anything you're not willing to lose.
  • Keep it with you or lock it up securely before you step away -- even just for a second.
  • Don't store sensitive information or passwords. Encrypt your device or sensitive contents if you do.
  • Keep your operating system and apps up to date -- sync often
  • Securely delete all contents before discarding, exchanging, selling or donating the device.
  • Use anti-virus/anti-malware software and turn on your device's firewall (if it has one).

Every day, mobile devices are lost, stolen, and infected. Assume for a moment that your mobile device has been stolen. What would you do?

  • What stored data was stolen? (think about both work and non-work)
  • What stored passwords were stolen?
  • What other accounts and services might have been compromised? (Dropbox, shopping, bank accounts, work accounts,...)
  • Did you lose your only copy of anything important?

Immediately report lost or stolen devices to the police. For phones, contact your cellular carrier to see if they can deactivate it. Also see the ITS Mobile Devices and Wireless web page for the following information:

  • a checklist for lost or stolen devices
  • additional preventive measures in case of theft or loss
  • more tips to protect mobile devices
  • additional information about sensitive information and wireless

Another Good Resource:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a "Smartphone Security Checker" which provides 10 customized steps to secure your mobile device!
https://www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security


Additional Information

For questions or assistance, contact the ITS Support Center