3 Tips to Keep Mobile Device Info Secure

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Jimmy Lummis
Office of Information Technology

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Athletics Spots Hot for Phone Thieves

The next time you’re at the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) working out or at a Georgia Tech athletics event, keep an eye on your smartphone. 

“In 2013, 35 cell phones have been stolen on campus, more than 70 percent of which were taken from athletics-related locations or activities,” said Captain Randy Barrone of Georgia Tech Police Department’s (GTPD) Crime Prevention Unit.

Ten phones were taken during one incident at the softball facility, seven from inside the CRC, five from Stamps Field, and three from the basketball court on top of the Curran Street Deck.

“Unfortunately, most of these crimes have occurred because people are leaving the devices unsecured — so they’re easy targets,” Barrone added.

Barrone also noted that, recently, the iPhone 4S and 5S models seem to be targeted specifically, because thieves can easily sell them for cash.

To keep the information on your phone secure and to help in the recovery process if it’s stolen, in addition to enabling the location services on your phone, Barrone encourages people to register their smartphones (and laptops, tablets, and other devices) with the GTPD. For more information, visit police.gatech.edu/service.

Summaries

Summary Sentence:

Important phone numbers and passwords, priceless family pictures, and numerous notes that you’d be lost without — just a few things that many of us would lose if our mobile device was stolen.

Full Summary:

Important phone numbers and passwords, priceless family pictures, and numerous notes that you’d be lost without — just a few things that many of us would lose if our mobile device was stolen.

Important phone numbers and passwords, priceless family pictures, and numerous notes that you’d be lost without — just a few things that many of us would lose if our mobile device was stolen.

“The average person comes to Tech with three mobile devices ranging from phones to iPods, and they’re often filled with both personal and work-related information,” said Jimmy Lummis, cyber security policy and compliance manager. “And if you’re checking your Georgia Tech email on a mobile device, chances are you have some sensitive data on one of your devices — which puts our sensitive data at risk if that device is lost or stolen.”

Here are a few things Lummis wants you to do to ensure your information is secure:

Use a Pin or Password

Most devices offer users the choice of setting up a pin or password to “unlock” them (which makes the data on the phone accessible to the user). Do it, Lummis said. Detailed instructions on how to do this are available through either the device manufacturer’s website or can be found by performing a web search. Android phones vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it’s difficult to offer specific instructions on how to setup a pin or password. But usually, the information can be found under the phone’s “Settings.” iPhone users should go to “Settings,” select “General,” scroll down to the “Passcode Lock” option, and follow the steps from there. Also, the iPhone offers an option where you can erase all data on the phone after 10 failed passcode entry attempts. For more iPhone information, visit http://c.gatech.edu/11Ss4EF.

Activate Your GPS

Your device probably has its own GPS that will allow you to locate it. But this function has to be turned on to be effective. iPhone users should go to “Settings,” “Privacy,” “Location Services,” and scroll down to the “Find My iPhone” option. Turning this on will allow you to locate your iPhone and remotely lock it or erase the data. (Note that you need to have an iCloud account to use this feature.) For more information, visit http://c.gatech.edu/18tEkR0. Android users will need to download an app such as PhoneLocator Pro, Cerberus, or FindMyPhone to have this capability.

Back Up Your Data

Make sure that the information on your phone is backed up to a device that can’t be snatched from your hand or left behind in a restaurant. The easiest solution is making sure your information is backed up to a desktop computer or laptop. iPhone users can back up their data to iCloud, while Android users can back up theirs to their Gmail/Google Drive account. (Note that backing up email to iCloud or Gmail is not allowed if the email includes category three data such as class rosters, Social Security numbers, and classified research.)

For more information, email Lummis.

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Mobile Device, security, smartphones
Status
  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 14, 2013 - 5:10am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:14pm