INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Mobile Security

Most people have things like family photos, banking applications, email and social networking applications on their devices. With all of this private data stored in such a small device, it is important to keep it secure.

People are 15 times more likely to lose a phone than a laptop, making loss the biggest threat to mobile users. And, 93% of lost smartphones are never recovered. How can you be sure that your information doesn’t get into the wrong hands? Use a passcode lock, set an automatic auto-lock for a short period of a minute or so, enable remote wipe (erase) and enable auto-erase for excessive failed logins.

UT Information Security Officer on Mobile App Security


Here are some more tips to help you protect your devices and yourself from theft, data loss and stolen identity:

Be aware of the three most common areas where mobile devices and laptops are stolen: airports, mass transit and automobiles–and always keep your items concealed when in a public place. Don’t leave your device alone, even for a minute. If you’re not using it, lock your device in a cabinet, drawer or use a security cable. Also use a screen guard to protect against strangers peeking at your screen when you are using it in public.

Choose strong passwords that have a mix of letters, numbers, symbols and case sensitivity. Most mobile devices will let you change the settings to utilize a more complex password. Weak passwords can be cracked using information and/or products available on the Internet. You should never write passwords down on sticky notes attached to the computer or on slips of paper in your carrying case. Only an alarming 17% of lost mobile devices have passcode locks. In fact, 57% of lost mobile devices have no protection at all, which means that the information on them can be used by anyone who finds them.

Don’t keep any sensitive data on your device. We recommend you search your computer for sensitive data and delete it. Sensitive data includes your social security number, credit card numbers, net IDs, passwords and other personally identifiable information. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget that this information is on your computer.

Registering your device with the manufacturer may increase the chance you'll get your device back if it's ever stolen. Registering will "flag" a device and if someone else sends it in for service, you will be contacted. If your device is stolen, notify the manufacturer right away.

Always make sure that you are using a secure wireless connection. If you are in a public place, look for signs posted by the organization naming their legitimate Wi-Fi network. Your private information may be stolen if you use an unsecure network. You should also turn off services when you aren’t using them, such as location services and Wi-Fi. Any Bluetooth capabilities that you do not need should also be disabled.

Last Updated: 2/12/21