Mobile Device Security

Mobile devices can contain valuable information that can be used for mailicious purposes. This includes personal information such as passwords, and also professional information such as research data. The pointers below will help to stay protected.

  • Adhere a label with name and contact information. This will increase the chance of a lost device being returned
  • Set a passcode to access the device. On some operating systems, this has the added benefit of encrypting data. Also set the phone to erase all data with a certain number of failed passcode attempts
  • Configure the phone to timeout and lock with inactivity. This will also extend battery life.
  • Keep all software updated. This includes all applications, and the operating system itself
  • Do not root or jailbreak the phone. This process will remove several of the manufacturer's security mechanisms
  • Download and install apps from trusted sources only, such as Apple iTunes Store, Google Play, or the Amazon App Store
  • Enroll in a 'Find My Phone' type of service. These usually include the option to remotely wipe data
  • Set devices to 'ask' before joining wireless networks
  • Turn off services that are not necessary, or when not in use. These can include: Bluetooth, WIFI, IrDA, and GPS
  • For web browsing, block pop-ups, limit cookies, and turn off autocomplete
  • Never open files, click links, or call numbers in unsolicited emails, text messages, or IMs
  • Before selling or giving the device, backup and wipe the data with a factory reset
  • If at all possible, do not connect to public WIFI. Anybody connected to the same network can eavesdrop on your network traffic
  • For the paranoid, use a VPN service that will encrypt all network communication. There are also applications that can encrypt phone calls and text messages