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Securing Mobile Devices

Protecting a mobile device (cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, etc.) is just as important as protecting your wallet from thieves. Mobile devices can hold a person’s entire life history (important phone numbers, e-mail addresses, bank account numbers, files for work, etc). If the mobile device was ever lost or stolen that person must then try to recall what information was on the device. Using fundamental security practices every day will ensure the mobile device is protected from shoulder surfers, worms/viruses, thieves, and curious people. Protecting mobile device requires people to become aware of their surroundings by requiring them to think strategically about what they are communicating and how they communicate with others.



Fundamental security practices should include the use of strong passwords to access the device and any applications. 


·        Strong Passwords should be between 8-12 characters, contain numbers, 
         symbols, upper and lower case letters, and they should not spell out words
         or be special events (birthdays, anniversary dates). The password should be
         a made up sentence for example:


                              Md8@A3*r = My dog ate at a 3 star restaurant.


Additional security practices include:  creating backup files, updating the operating system and anti-virus regularly, powering off the Wi-Fi feature when not in use, refraining from installing any unknown programs, and physically lock the device.


·        It is important to create backup files because if the device is ever corrupted,
         lost, or stolen the information may be retrieved.


·        When the operating system and anti-virus are updated on a regular basis that
         device is less prone to hackers installing malicious programs.


·        Powering off the Wi-Fi feature prohibits anyone remotely accessing your
         device from their wireless device.


·        Don’t install any unknown programs they could cause your mobile device to
         become corrupt, unresponsive, and a host to infect other devices. An
         example would be downloading a “free” instant messaging service; it could
         contain worms, viruses or corrupt the device.


·        When the device is not in use physically lock it up in a closet/ lockable desk
         drawer/ safe, or with a chain to a desk that is secured to the floor. Doing this
         prevents people from tampering or trying to take the device.


Lastly, be aware of your surroundings, people have a natural curiosity to listen in on conversations. This could lead to a person following you and stealing the device.  Also, never leave the device unattended because it only takes a couple of seconds for someone to steal it.


Practicing the above guidelines will ensure any device you own will be protected against criminals and curious people. Currently most mobile devices contains a person’s life history, isn’t that worth protecting from identity thieves and criminals?