Phone Security 101

Universities can be dangerous places. Exams, assignments, thieves and faculty lie in wait for the unsuspecting undergrad; of these, only theft can be (responsibly) avoided. This is important in the age of the smartphone; losing your device can lead to identity theft, bank fraud, and all sorts of scary-bad-no-fun situations.

What can students do to reduce risks? There are obvious (and less-obvious) measures that can be taken; we’ll outline the major points below.

First among these is locking your phone. Many of us choose not to password-protect our devices, but this can come back to haunt victims of theft. iOS users can find this option in Settings>General, while most Android users can find it in Location & Security Settings.

Another aspect of phone-sec is app-sec: making sure your apps are up-to-date and obtained from trustworthy sources (like Google Play and the App Store). Keeping your operating system updated is also a good idea.

Back up your data! This is a rallying cry for a reason. If the worst happens and you lose your phone, you don’t have to lose the information stored on it.

Remember to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if you’re not using them – they can drain battery life and might provide info-thieves access to your data. Logging out of websites (especially banking and shopping sites) when you’re done is good practice, as is keeping personal information to yourself.