ITS cyber security "Tip of the Week": Week 3

Keep information safe on mobile devices


October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This week's cyber security "Tip of the Week" from ITS focuses on cyber security for mobile devices.

Is your information safe? Every day mobile devices are lost, stolen, and infected. A good rule of thumb is not to store anything you're not willing to lose. This said, following are several simple steps you can take to help protect information on mobile devices:

    * Set your device to require a password/PIN and to automatically lock when not in use--but still don't store anything you're not willing to lose. A simple four-digit passcode won't keep people out for very long!

    * Don't store sensitive information. Turn on encryption if you do.

    * Some devices can be set to be erased remotely, or to erase themselves if the password/PIN is entered incorrectly a certain number of times. Consider turning these on to protect information in the case of theft or loss.

    * Set devices to "ask" before joining networks so you don't unknowingly connect to insecure wireless networks.

    * Avoid using auto-complete features that remember user names or passwords.

    * Avoid opening files, clicking links, or calling numbers in unsolicited e-mails or text messages.

    * If your device has a web browser, set the browser to block pop-ups. For added privacy, also set the browser to limit the cookies it accepts. For example, some devices let you set the browser to accept cookies only from sites you visit.

    * Delete all contents before discarding, exchanging, or donating the device.

    * Back up your data regularly in case of theft or loss.

    * Immediately report lost or stolen devices that contained sensitive UCSC information or passwords to the ITS Support Center (contact info below).

For questions, contact the ITS Support Center:,, 459-HELP, 54 Kerr Hall.

Additional cyber security information is available on the ITS Security Awareness Web site.