Secure your devices
Smartphones, tablets and personal computers are used on a daily basis at the University.
Because these devices often contain information which is vital to the University's teaching, learning and research initiatives, it is important they are kept secure.
Secure your smart phones and tables
It is best practice not to store anything you're not willing to lose or share with the world on a mobile device. With this in mind, below are some steps you can take to help protect information on your mobile devices. Some of these steps may require additional configuration or changing settings from the factory defaults.
- Password-protect your mobile device with a complex password or lock code, and be sure your device requires a password to start up or resume activity.
- Set your mobile device to automatically lock after a short period of inactivity.
- Always keep it with you or lock it up securely before you step away.
- Don't store sensitive information on you mobile devices. If you have sensitive content on your device, encrypt your device or the content.
- Don't store passwords on your device unless they are encrypted.
- Run current, up-to-date versions of the operating system and applications. Always install updates as soon as they become available.
- Beware of phishing: don't open files, click links, or call numbers in unsolicited emails or messages.
- Be very suspicious of links that arrive via text messages or emails. If it looks suspicious do not open it or click on links as it is hard to checks links on mobile devices.
- Do not jailbreak your phone or tablet. This defeats built-in software safety features and may stop you from being able to apply important security updates.
- If your mobile device has built-in firewall or access control functionality, activate them.
- Avoid using auto-complete features that remember user names or passwords.
- Turn off GPS and geotagging when you're not actively using them. These can allow your location to be tracked without your knowledge.
- Set devices to "ask" before joining new wireless networks and do not join public or unsecured wireless networks.
- Periodically go through your device's list of known wireless networks and delete ones no longer needed.
- Configure the web browser on your devices to block pop-ups.
- Securely delete all contents before discarding, exchanging, selling or donating the device. At a minimum perform a factory reset of your device.
Secure your personal computers
Your personal computers will most likely contain a lot of personal information and details about yourself and your family, which you do not want to lose or share with the rest of the world. Just like your personal mobile devices, it is important that simple steps are followed to help protect information on your personal computers.
- Set a strong password on all user accounts on your personal computer.
- Configure your computer to automatically lock after a period of inactivity.
- If you store important and sensitive data on your computer it is recommended that you encrypt this data.
- Keep a regular backup of important data in a secure location so that it can be recovered.
- Always keep your computer's operating system up-to-date by enabling automatic updates.
- Always update all applications on your computer, such as Adobe products and your web browsers.
- Always run anti-malware protection software on your computer and set it to automatically update and block threats.
- Enable inbuilt operating system firewalls on your computer, especially if it is a laptop and you use it on public wireless networks.
- Avoid installing unnecessary applications and games on your computer that you do not need or use.
- Do a regular check and clean of your computer and remove any applications that you do not use.
- Avoid installing web browser plugins and search bars.
For more information on how to keep your personal computer malware-free see Avoid Malware infection.