Keeping information safe when you're out and about

Mobile devices 

Your smartphone or tablet contains valuable information about you, your friends and your life. If you use it for your work then it may contain data that belongs to the University, personal information about colleagues or students, or other restricted information.

Mobile devices are super convenient for doing things on the move, but they run the risk of falling into the wrong hands through being lost, stolen or misplaced. They’re also under increasing threat from cyber criminals trying to steal your information through scams and malware. If University data is lost this can lead to problems for the University, including fines or reputational damage.

Tips to make your phone or tablet more secure

1. Don’t leave it

Lost and stolen devices continue to be the number one threat to mobile users, so never leave it unattended or lying on a café table – put it in your pocket or bag!

2. Lock it

Set the screen to lock after a few minutes of inactivity. Set up a long PIN, password, fingerprint or face recognition. 

3. Update it

Always install the latest security updates for your operating system and apps.

4. Get a mobile security app

Security apps like Norton, Sophos or MacAfee will keep your mobile device free from malware and other harmful infections, scan wifi to check it's secure, help you avoid phishing scams, keep your personal data private, and help you find or remotely wipe your device if you lose it.

5. Use apps you can trust

Only shop at trusted app stores. A Google search can tell you if there are security issues with an app. Using Android? Don't allow app installs from "unknown sources". Check the app's privacy policy.

6. Close apps

Apps run in the background drain the battery. They can also leak data. So if you've finished with an app then close it or log out.

7. Log out

Log out of websites before you close your browser.

8. Don't jailbreak, hack or root it

Tampering with your device to free it from the restrictions and limitations set by your provider will significantly weaken the security of your device. You can potentially open security holes or undermine your device's built-in security measures. You could also invalidate your device's warranty.

9. Set up remote locate, lock and wipe services

Lost your device? You may be able to use remote services to locate, ring, lock or erase your device. See:

10. Beware of public wifi

Avoid unsecured public wifi. Use your mobile data or a trusted VPN service. Don't use public wifi for banking or online shopping.

How to tell if your device is compromised

Signs that your device is compromised can include random pop-ups and adverts, unexplained data usage, battery draining quickly, slow response times, apps that keep crashing, or random charges on your bill.

What to do

  • Change the passwords for all of your online accounts, such as your email account and online banking. You should also change your University password. This should not be done on the compromised device.
  • Run your anti-virus scan (and if you haven’t got an app to do this then install a reputable security app).
  • Uninstall suspicious or unwanted apps.
  • If all else fails you can try a factory reset, but beware: this will permanently delete everything on your device, so back up everything first

Device infected with a virus or malware

Get a security app and then run a virus scan to see if the infection can be removed. If not, then you may need to perform a factory reset. If your device has sensitive University data on it, report it to the IT Helpdesk.

Lost or stolen device

Try using “Find my iPhone” or “Find my Device”. These can put your device into “lost mode” which will lock the device and display a contact message. If the device isn’t somewhere safe you may want to remotely wipe it.

Stolen devices are rarely recovered, so use the remote wipe or erase facility if possible.

If your device had restricted University information on it then report its loss to the Information Assurance Team.

Paper

Paper information can also be mobile, whether you’re carrying it to a meeting, between hot desks, or taking it home or to a conference to work on. As with the guidelines for mobile information, above, this is the minimum requirement for restricted information on paper. Your section, department or work area may have additional rules that you should follow.

  • Where possible use remote access rather than printing out large amounts of information.
  • Secure loose sheets together to avoid losing any: put papers into an envelope, folder or bag to keep them together.
  • If you are travelling with papers keep them with you at all times. If they have to be left in a vehicle, ensure they are out of sight.
  • Lock papers away when you reach your destination.
  • Shred papers after use unless they need to be returned to your workplace. Use a personal shredder or ask Estates Management Helpdesk Estates Management Helpdesk Estates Management Helpdesk to collect paper for confidential shredding.
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Contact us
Information Assurance Manager
Telephone: 01206 874853