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Queen's University
 

Mobile Device Security Best Practices

 

Tablets and smartphones, when used either personally or professionally, often contain sensitive or confidential data. Keep your phone secure by following these guidelines. 

 

  1. It is always a good idea to install system updates, or application updates, because these updates often fix reported bugs or security vulnerabilities, not just functionality.
  2. Use a password or pattern to keep your device locked and keep your data from being easily accessed by others.
  3. Make sure auto-lock is enabled so that your device is locked when not in use. Usually this is automatic when you set a password or pattern, but you can sometimes control the amount of time before it locks automatically.
  4. If you have confidential data on your device, know how it can be remotely wiped. Please consult your device manufacturer for how to do this. We can’t confirm that every device or model has this feature, but most of them should.
  5. Only install applications from trusted sources. Research the app before downloading to make sure it has good reviews. Although some apps may not intentionally be malicious or contain malware, app security is not standardized in the same way that professional software is. Anyone can create and distribute apps.
  6. iPhone apps go through a strict review process to get into the iPhone App Store, but Android applications do not have the same procedures, and can also be released outside of the Google Play Store, such as a through a link on a website or through email. Make sure to do your research before downloading an app to make sure it is safe.
  7. Use secure internet access whenever possible. Avoid using open Wi-Fi connections for secure purposes (signing into email, Facebook, etc.). When on campus, use the QueensuSecure_WPA2 wireless network instead of the unsecured queensu wireless network. You should be able to set your device to remember your username and password for this network so you don’t have to sign in every time.
  8. Turn off Bluetooth unless you are actually using it. Do not accept files over Bluetooth unless you know what it is and who it’s from. If you don’t know the origin, it could be a virus. Viruses can spread via Bluetooth without the owner of a device knowing.
  9. Always keep a backup of your mobile device on your computer, and don’t keep information of a sensitive nature on your device.
  10. If you have an iPhone, do not jailbreak it, especially if it is a work phone. If you have jail-broken your iPhone, 3rd party apps can be installed, and security is no longer reliable.
  11. Always check what permissions an app says it needs before you download it. If the permissions it is asking for don’t make sense, or if it is asking for more control than you are comfortable giving, consider not downloading that particular app.
  12. Use common sense while browsing the internet. In your device’s web browser, do not navigate to suspicious links.

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