Mobile device security – 7 best practices

As the number of mobile phone users around the world is projected to exceed the five billion mark, cyber-criminals are adapting and changing their methods to profit from this growing number of potential victims. Since cyber-criminals usually cast wide nets to reach more potential victims, mobile users should protect their devices early on to defend against threats.

The following are some mobile security best practices to safeguard mobile devices and the sensitive data they contain from TrojanSecure/USC ITS. Remember, if you receive a suspicious email/text or suspect your account is compromised, immediately report it to security@usc.edu.

1 – User Authentication

Ensure the use of screen lock, a powerful password, or PIN in order to make it more difficult for potential thieves to access the device. By requiring authentication before a mobile device can be accessed, the data on the device is protected in case of accidental loss or theft of the mobile device.

2 – Enable remote data wipe as an option

Ensure a remote data wipe option is available on the device and that you know how to use it in case the device is stolen or lost. Apple’s Find My iPhone app, for example, offers a remote data wiping option in addition to the ability to find the iPhone if it’s lost.

3 – Regularly back up your mobile device

Ensure the mobile device’s data is regularly backed up. By backing up a device to another hard drive or to the cloud, the data can be restored in the event the device gets damaged or is lost or stolen.

4 – Update your mobile OS with security patches

Keep the mobile operating system and its apps up to date. Mobile operating systems like Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android platform and Microsoft’s Windows Phone provide regular updates to users that resolve security vulnerabilities and other mobile security threats.

5 – Use encryption

Use encryption for data stored on mobile devices, as well as for data in transit, with secure technologies such as VPN.

6 – Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Limit the potential for access through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth by disabling these connectivity options when not in use. Never transmit sensitive or personal information over a public Wi-Fi spot, especially one that is unsecured.

7 – Add a mobile security app

Research and select a reputable mobile security app that extends the built-in security features of the device’s mobile operating system.

 

 

3+
Contact the editors

Comment