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Mobile Device Security


Mobile Devices are becoming apart of peoples everyday lives. Many of us use our mobile devices to view bank account information, pay bills, browse the internet, and social media. Our mobile devices can also be used to store sensitive information like photos, videos, emails, and text messages. It's important that we protect this information to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the information.

The first line of defense for your mobile device is your lock screen. Your lockscreen doesn't only keep your significant other, kids, or parents from snooping on your phone, but it also makes it harder for other malicious users from gaining access to your device in the event your device in the event it's lost or stolen. It's also extremely important to keep your mobile device's operating system and it's apps up to date. A recently discovered bug in Android leaves more than a billion devices vulnerable to attacks through malicious video or audio files.

Get some SMARTS for your mobile device

Scrutinize and scan apps before installation

  • Check the apps’ permissions and security settings

  • Ensure that the application that you are downloading is not asking for more permissions than it requires.

  • Download apps from official app stores
    • Apple App Store
    • Mac App Store
    • Google Play Store
    • Windows Store
    • Windows Phone Store

    When installing an app, ensure it comes from the official app store for your device.
Monitor your device with a mobile security app
  • Use a device tracker and enable remote wipe
    In the event your mobile device is lost or stolen, it is important to have some sort of device tracker app installed that can help you find your lost or stolen phone. Some apps allow you to remotely lock your phone or perform a remote wipe if necessary.

  • Disable the auto-login and password autofill features

  • Allowing an app or website to auto-login means that anyone with access to your phone will be able to use your account on that service without you knowing.
Avoid banking and shopping when using public Wi-Fi
  • Don’t join suspicious or unfamiliar Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Disable wireless connectivity when you’re not using it (e.g. Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi)

  • By turning off wireless connectivity while they are not in use. It reduces the risk of your phone auto joining any wireless network without your consent, and it saves your battery!
Review all requests for your password and personal data
  • Inspect URLs before visiting by tapping and holding down on links

  • Check to make sure that the site is really going where it says its going to! For example, hover over this link: https://www.hawaii.edu/its/

  • Limit the amount of personal data you store on your device
Turn on screen lock with a short timeout
  • Turn on device encryption and use a strong password
  • Disable lock screen features and unnecessary notifications

  • Some phones allow you to read notifications like text messages and emails from the lockscreen. Disable these features so unauthorized users can't read sensitive information from the lock screen.
Secure your device by applying security updates
  • Keep your system and all apps up-to-date
  • Don’t root/jailbreak your device

  • By rooting or jailbreaking your device, you create new security holes that cyber criminals can use to their advantage to steal your personal information.

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