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Security Center: Mobile Security

A man with a phone in his hand

Tips to keep your information protected on mobile devices.

Phones, tablets and watches routinely store and transmit personal information, so it’s important that each device is configured for maximum security. If you have a device you’re unsure of, see your data plan carrier for assistance if needed.

Use the following suggestions:

  • Use a PIN, password, pattern, or fingerprint to lock your device, preventing unauthorized access.
  • Restrict the information displayed on the screen when your device is locked.
  • Regularly install operating system and firmware updates on all your devices.
  • Avoid using unsecured "public" wireless networks, as it puts your device and your data at risk.
  • Require a password for app purchases to give you more control over what is downloaded or installed onto your device.
  • Where possible, use anti-malware apps and software to reduce the risk of infection of your device, which could result in loss of, or unauthorized access to your sensitive data.
  • In the event your device is lost or stolen, wipe it clean of data to protect your information.

Find your device:

  • First, software (Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager) must be installed and active on the device and you must have signed into these services prior to losing the device for this to work.
  • With some devices, you can also ring and/or lock the device with a password, even if you hadn't protected the device with a password before it was lost.
  • Automatically wipe the data after 10 incorrect password attempts.
  • If your devise cannot be recovered, you can remotely wipe data if you’ve installed the needed software (Find My iPhone, or Android Device Manager).

Get control over data and location tracking:

  • Your device tracks your recent and sometimes even frequently visited locations. Disabling these services provides more privacy.
  • Some apps track your location, even when you're not using them. Disabling these services provides more privacy.
  • Don’t allow browsers to store information such as usernames, passwords, addresses, etc.

Prevent the installation of apps from unknown sources:

As a general rule, you should only install apps from trusted sources, like the Apple App Store or Google Play store. Apple devices are configured to ensure apps are only downloaded from the App Store or a trusted enterprise via secure certificates, and that cannot be changed. Other operating systems such as Android may require a change in phone settings to disallow the downloading of information from unknown sources.

Don't jailbreak/root your device:

Sometimes people jailbreak, or root, mobile operating systems to achieve escalation of privilege on the device. By gaining greater privilege on the device, it becomes easier to customize. However, escalation of privilege also makes the device easier to infect or compromise. Anti-malware software becomes more of a necessity when devices are jailbroken.