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How do I secure my Smart Phone or portable device?

Many of us are surgically attached to our phones and tablets. They're your address book, email account, digital camera, online banking system, and, in some swanky cases, your credit/debit card.

So if you have a smartphone or tablet, make sure you protect yourself:

  • Keep devices physically secure and take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of theft or loss (e.g. keeping the device on person and out of sight, don’t leave unattended in hotel rooms etc.)
  • Secure access to devices using an appropriate passcode, passphrase or similar; where appropriate default settings should be changed to allow use of more advanced passcodes
  • Set devices to automatically lock after a pre-defined period of inactivity (usually no more than a few minutes) and, where appropriate, to lock or wipe data if an incorrect password is entered too many times
  • Use TLS/SSL to access University email (option when setting email account)
  • Ensure synching to cloud-based services (including backup) is explicitly authorised by the information asset/risk owner and appropriate protection is provided
  • Keep software on mobile devices up to date with the latest version
  • Only install apps from trusted locations
  • Be careful who can read information when viewing in public areas
  • Report theft or loss of mobile devices to your department, IT Services ( and the police
  • Remove University data when you leave the University

Manufacturer's instructions for common devices:

Apple -

Samsung -

Nokia -

Windows Surface -

Further information

Information Commissioner's Office advice on Smart Phone security (PDF Document)