Department of Information Technology

Protect Personal Devices

These days nearly everyone has a mobile device, right? What you may not know about your smart phone is that it represents one of the fastest growing “attack surfaces” for cybercriminals. They are exposed daily to more networks and other devices than any piece of equipment you own. Not to mention the fact that taking them wherever you go makes them more likely to be lost or stolen than most other devices.

Mobile phones contain a great deal of personal information about you. Many apps on your phone provide access to your bank accounts or other accounts that contain sensitive information. Your phone probably contains direct access to your e-mail, text messages and social media accounts that can be used to steal your identity and to trick your friends into providing their sensitive information as well.

Things like this can happen when an attacker physically gets ahold of your mobile device. But did you know that there are a growing number of exploits that take advantage of your phone’s Bluetooth, WiFi and cellular connections to gain virtual access to your phone. Phones can be infected with malware just like a computer can!

So what should you do to make sure your mobile phone is secure? The following is a list of tips we recommend.

  • Use a strong pin or password on your phone
  • Consider enabling fingerprint or face logins to your device
  • Disable WiFi and/or Bluetooth when you don’t need them
  • Be careful what apps you download and what services you allow them to access
  • Disable location services when you don't need them
  • Be careful about where you plug in your phone
  • Employ remote wiping software (Find my iPhone, Android Device manager, etc)
  • Backup your phone often