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January 2018: Your Mobile Devices Won't Secure Themselves!

Security Awareness Campaign January 2018:
Your Mobile Devices Won't Secure Themselves!

Mobile devices are everywhere - pockets, purses, nightstands, cars - and so are the security threats related to their use. Add to that the use of home networks, cloud backups and the Internet of Things and the risk escalates! Take the time to educate yourself about what you can do now to secure and protect your data and devices, wherever they may be.

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 the ubiquity of smart devices stitched into the very fabric of our daily lives (figuratively and literally) - now require a more sophisticated defense-in-depth approach to match the growing threat.

Following are a few things you can do to protect your devices and personal information on campus, at home or at work - basically anything that connects to the internet anywhere at anytime.

  • Secure your devices with a strong password, pattern or biometric authentication. Check the settings for each device to enable a screen-lock option. For home routers, reset the default password with a strong one.
  • Install anti-malware software. Some software includes features that let you do automatic backups and track your device.
  • Check your Bluetooth and GPS access on your devices. Disable these settings on all devices when not needed and avoid using them in public areas.
  • Update your devices often. Install operating system and application updates when they become available.
  • Review phone and tablet 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.
  • Treat devices like cash! Don't let your devices out of your sight or grasp. Maintain physical control of your device in public areas.
  • Keep it sunny in the cloud. Whether using Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, Amazon Drive or any of the many cloud options, set privacy restrictions on your files to share them only with those you intend. Protect access to your cloud drive with two-factor authentication, whenever possible.
  • Secure your home wireless network. Configure your wireless router to protect your bandwidth, identifiable information, and personal computer. Secure it with proper set up and placement, router configuration, and a unique password, using the strongest encryption option.
  • Protect your Internet of Things devices. Are you sharing your live streaming nanny cam with the world? Review privacy settings for all internet-ready devices before connecting them to the web.
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