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FROM: UTech Security RE: UTech Security Awareness Bulletin - Using Your Smartphone Securely
2/25/2013 11:30:38 AM
To: Students, Faculty, Staff

They are everywhere – iPhones, Androids, and Blackberrys. Regardless of whether you call them handhelds, feature phones, PDAs, or pocket PCs, they are cellular telephones with integrated computers. The combination of popularity, low prices, rapid turnover, and new features can lead users to overlook the security fundamentals that apply to all networked computers regardless of their size.

Security resources for smartphones are very limited and not fully developed. As a result, most smartphones lack the level of security that you find on your desktop or notebook computer.

Here are some tips to follow to protect your smartphone:

1) Password Protection – If you lose an unprotected smartphone, anyone who finds it can access your personal information. Use a strong PIN, password, or passphrase to protect the contents of your smartphone.

2) Email and Internet – Most smartphones support email and web browsing. These services are open to the same threats that you face on any computer such as phishing attacks, malicious websites, infected websites, and scams. If you receive an email that sounds too good to be true or looks suspicious, do not respond to it or click on the links. Limit your browsing to well-known and trusted websites.

3) Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – If you aren’t using them, you should turn off wireless communications features.

4) Applications – Install only applications that you need. The more applications you install, the more potential vulnerabilities that you add to your smartphone. Also, only download apps from the official app stores.

5) Updating – Be sure to keep both your smartphone operating system and your applications up-to-date.

6) Lost Smartphone – Attach an ID label to the back of your smartphone with your name, email address, and an alternate phone number where you can be reached. This increases the chances of your smartphone being returned should you misplace it.

7) Enable Remote Wipe – Remote wiping allows you to erase everything on your lost or misplaced handheld restoring it to factory settings to prevent your personal information from falling into the hands of a bad guy.

8) Disposal – Be sure to erase all personal information securely from your smartphone before you dispose of it.

9) Backup your data – You should make regular backups to protect your contacts, messages, photos, and apps.

10) Sensitive Information - Do not store sensitive information on the device.