ITSS

Mobile Device Security Tips

Services for Faculty, Staff & Students

The following are some general safety tips to protect your mobile device:

  • When purchasing a smartphone or tablet, know the features of the device, including the default settings. Turn off features you don’t need to minimize the device’s security vulnerabilities.
  • Look at the reviews of the developer or company who publishes a mobile app before purchasing.
  • Review and understand the permissions you are giving when you download apps.
  • Get malware protection for your mobile device. Look for applications that specialize in antivirus or file integrity that will help protect your device from rogue applications and malware.
  • Be aware of applications that enable geo-location. The application will track the user's location anywhere. This application can be used for marketing, but can also be used by criminals.
  • ‘Jailbreak’ or ‘rooting’ is used to remove certain restrictions imposed by the device manufacturer or cell phone carrier. This allows the user nearly unregulated control over what programs can be installed and how the device can be used. However, this procedure often involves exploiting significant security vulnerabilities and decreases the overall security of the device.
  • Do not allow your device to connect to unknown wireless networks. These networks could be rogue access points that capture information passed between your device and a legitimate server.
  • If you decide to trade the device in, make sure you wipe the device (reset it to factory default) to avoid leaving personal data on it.
  • Mobile devices require updates to run applications and firmware. If you neglect these updates, it increases the risk of having your device hacked or compromised.
  • Use the same precautions on your mobile device as you would on your computer when using the Internet. Avoid clicking on or otherwise downloading software or links from unknown sources.

Lost device recovery and remote data wipe

For Saint Mary’s Android, BlackBerry and Apple Users: If you have lost your device, and your smartphone is configured to receive email and calendar updates from your Saint Mary's accounts (same as your desktop services at work), contact ITSS immediately for assistance. The ability to locate, recover and wipe a smart devices are operating system and device-dependent, and will only work while the battery of the device is still charged. After a period of time, the device will power off and will no longer be reachable remotely.