CAB* – Your Mobile Devices Won’t Secure Themselves! (IT Training Tip)

Mobile devices are everywhere, in your pockets and purses, on your office desks and home nightstands, and in your cars. The security threats related to the use of mobile devices are also everywhere!

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 their increased use, now require a more sophisticated defense-in-depth approach to match the ever-increasing security threats.

The following are some tips you can use to protect your work and personal devices and the information stored on them.

Secure Your Devices with a Strong Password, Pattern, or Biometric Authentication: Check the settings for each of your devices, and enable the screen-lock optionA screen-lock often provides the first level of defense in protecting your device.

Enable Mobile Device Tracking: If your mobile device is lost or stolen, with the use of mobile device tracking apps and software, such as Find My iPhone for Apple iPhones and iPads, you can track the location of your device in real-time. You can also remotely lock or erase your device in the event of a loss or theft.

Update Your Devices Often: Install operating system and application updates when they become available. Keeping your device up-to-date ensures you have the latest security updates, and your apps are current.

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. Take a few minutes to read the reviews of an app, and consider the star rating for the app, before downloading it to your device. Anything with a rating that is below 2-3 stars is something you may want to reconsider and look for another app with a higher star rating.

Check Your Bluetooth, GPS, and Personal Hotspot Access: Disable these settings on all devices when not needed and avoid using them in public areas. When using the Personal Hotspot features of your mobile device, make sure to set up a strong password that is needed when connecting to your hotspot.

Backup Your Devices: Back up your devices to the cloud or some other location, such as your computer’s hard drive. Backing up your devices ensures that in the event of a failure, loss or theft, the apps and data from your most recent backup can be recovered. The loss of contacts, text messages and other data saved with particular apps can be devastating to an individual.

Connect to a Secure Wireless Network: Whenever possible, connect to a wireless network that is secure (requires a password). If an open wireless network is your only option, limit your use and try not to use apps that may expose 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.

*CAB – Cyber Aware Bobcat
Adapted with permission from https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2016/11/december-2017-your-mobile-devices-wont-secure-themselves

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