How to Secure Your Phone or Tablet

This October, we’d like to remind you to secure your mobile devices.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As we kick off a project to make Brown-owned phones and tablets even more secure, here are some tips for your personal devices. You may be thinking, “there’s nothing important on my phone.” But even if you use your phone for something as simple as email, criminals could use this email access to reset your bank account passwords! How can you protect yourself?
 

First: Supercharge Your Passcode

If you don’t have a passcode, use one. And if you have a four-character passcode, up it to six. You may be wondering if there’s really an advantage to using two additional characters in your passcode. Yes! This graphic explains it well.

Passcode Security Infographic from IBM Security

Take action:

Second: Add a Fingerprint

Want to make a six-character passcode less of a hassle? If your device supports it, you can add a fingerprint. For example, Touch ID on an iPhone lets you unlock with a fingerprint in most cases.

Take action:

Third: Encrypt Your Data

Take security a step further by encrypting your device. Encryption scrambles your data so it can only be unlocked by the passcode. This prevents criminals from transferring data off your phone if it gets lost or stolen. Using a passcode on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 8 or higher will automatically encrypt your data. Many newer Androids are encrypted automatically. Here’s how to encrypt others.

Take action:

More Resources

For more, see our BEar AWARE resources for Mobile Devices.

Once you’re feeling informed, take the Protect Your Devices quiz (available until noon on Friday, October 13th) to see how much you know and enter to win an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet.

Written by sobodda@brown.edu on