Mobile security at one time meant using a laptop lock and keeping tabs on your phone. However, the growing capabilities and use of mobile devices—coupled with the ubiquity of smart devices stitched into the very fabric of our daily lives (figuratively and literally)—now require a more sophisticated defense-in-depth approach to match the growing threat. Following are a few things you can do to protect your devices and personal information on campus, at home, or at work.
- Secure your devices with a strong password, pattern, or biometric authentication. Check the settings for each device to enable a screen-lock option. For home routers, reset the default password with a strong one.
- Install anti-malware. Some software includes features that let you do automatic backups and track your device.
- Check your Bluetooth and GPS access. Disable these settings on all devices when not needed and avoid using them in public areas.
- Update your devices often. Install operating system and application updates when they become available.
- Review phone 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. Get a lock (alarmed is best) for your laptop and use it.
- Keep it sunny 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.
- Create a secure wireless network. Configure your wireless router to protect your bandwidth, identifiable information, and personal computer. Secure it with proper set up and placement, router configuration, and a unique password, using the strongest encryption option. See http://www.wi-fi.org/ for more tips.
- Protect your Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Are you sharing your livestreaming nanny cam with the world? Review privacy settings for all Internet-ready devices before connecting them to the web.
- Learn more about mobile device safety from the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign.
- Read two helpful Federal Trade Commission articles: “Understanding Mobile Apps” and “Disposing of Your Mobile Device.”
- Check out these mobile device tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance.
- Review US-CERT’s advice on securing wireless networks.
Content provided by the Awareness and Training Working Group of the EDUCAUSE Higher Education Information Security Council(link is external) (HEISC).