Mobile devices include laptops, tablets, smartphones and removable storage devices (e.g., thumb drives, external hard drives). Smartphones and tablets are incredibly powerful computers that are just as susceptible to security issues and malicious attacks as desktop and laptop computers. Mobile devices create an even greater danger because they are easily lost or stolen.
Best Practices for the Security of Mobile Devices
- Use a PIN or passcode to restrict access. Never leave devices unlocked when not actively using them.
- Use up-to-date antivirus software, including on smartphones and tablets.
- Keep the software on your device up-to-date and set to update automatically.
- Only install apps from trusted sources (e.g., Google Play, Apple App Store, Microsoft App Store).
- Turn on remote services that can help if your device is lost or stolen:
- Turn on "find my phone"
- Turn on "remote wipe"
- Pay careful attention to the privacy and security options on all apps. Only allow the permissions you really need.
- Except where needed, turn off notifications in apps
- Except where needed, turn off location tracking in apps
- Turn off unnecessary default parameters
- Adjust the default security settings for maximum protection
- Avoid using open Wi-Fi networks. If you have to use an open network, limit your activity and time on the network as much as possible. See Public Wi-Fi.
- Do not use USB-based public charging stations. “Juice jacking” attacks can install malware on your mobile device and/or copy data from your device. Only use chargers you brought with you from home and know to be good.
- Encrypt your device(s). See Encryption.
- Securely wipe your devices before disposing, selling, or trading them in.
- Dispose of mobile devices via a trusted eWaste recycling service
Active Sync at KU
KU provides email and calendar services through Microsoft Exchange. ActiveSync is the protocol by which some applications connect to Exchange. It consists of software on the Exchange servers and client software on the user’s device. Most mobile devices have chosen this protocol to connect to Exchange to get email, calendars, contacts, etc. ActiveSync allows KU faculty, staff and students to connect with KU email and calendars on their mobile devices.
See Exchange Active Sync for frequently asked questions about Active Sync at KU