All mobile devices have the option to set up a PIN number. Once set up, you will be prompted to enter this PIN number every time you unlock your phone. This may seem a lot of effort to go through every time you use your device, however it is the simplest way to protect your device if it does get stolen.
Make a note at home of your make and model number of your phone, plus the phone number, serial/IMEA number(you can get this normally by typing *#06# on the phone keypad) and a description of the phone(any unique features/scratches? Case colour?). In addition to this, take a photo of your phone and print it out and attach this to the notes you have taken. You can then use this for any insurance claim or police reports if required.
Do not leave your device visible unless required, including on campus, at your desk, or in the car.
Never connect to any wireless hotspots that are unsecure or unknown by yourself. New technology can 'hijack' your sessions if you log into sites such as Facebook or your bank while using these hotspots. Users who use this technology can then change your passwords and access personal information. This threat is incredibly serious, especially with the introduction of simple firefox plugins that can steal data easily over unsecure wireless networks. An unsecure wireless hotspot can be identified by the lack of a password on the hotspot when you try to connect to it. If there is no password, this means the hotspot is unencrypted and you may be at risk.
University staff are forced to change their password every 90 days. However University students can keep the same password for the entire length of study. Please regularly change any passwords you use on your mobile device or tablet, such for Facebook, your email or any third party apps.
With the advent of smart phones, users are encouraged more than ever to store their passwords due to features such as 'push email' or posting photos directly to Facebook. We encourage users not to store their passwords permanently in their device. If you do store your passwords and your device is stolen, the thief could have access immediately to sensitive data and could even use your email or social networking accounts for nefarious reasons. If you must store your details(for example, for push email), please regularly change them, and ensure you have a PIN number on your device, and also a device that can be remote wiped.
Never store the details of your home address in your phone either as text or as a GPS location. This opens up the possibility of a thief using it for identity theft.
Always store the names of any family members as their real names rather than 'mum', 'dad' etc. This prevents identity thieves from messaging family members asking for private information such as passwords. It has been known for them to even ask for money!
There are phone finding apps that are for the main three devices on the market. These let you sign up your phone, and if it does go missing you can log onto a website and locate it using the GPS:
Never install any apps that are unsigned from any app store. Always check the user rating of apps to ensure that they are functional and will not be used to hijack your device or install rogue software.
If you have a smart phone with a phone locating feature, or you have installed a device locator app, you may be able to use this to find your device. As outlined in our security section above, here are some apps you may be able to use:
Ring your device provider immediately and ask them to block access to the phone. This will prevent anyone from using any of the provider features such as making phone calls, sending messages or using the internet. Depending on the device, some providers can also send mobile wipe commands to the device to wipe any data.
All lost or stolen phones are entered into the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) which shares this information across all providers ensuring your phone cannot be used again no matter what SIM card is entered into it.
If you have lost your phone, the links below will give you information from your provider on steps to take:
Change any passwords for any mail or app programs on your device and immediately change all your university passwords. If you need any assistance changing any passwords, please contact the Information Centre. This will prevent a thief from logging into these services on the device and using them for purposes such as identity theft.
If you are using a smart phone or tablet, and have synchronised your device with our staff email service (using Activsync), you can perform a remote wipe and lock of your device yourself via outlook web access. Simply log into Outlook Web Access at http://mail.stir.ac.uk, go to 'options', then 'Mobile Devices'. You can then tick the button next to the device you have lost or had stolen and choose the option 'Wipe all data from this device'.
If you are a student, your provider in step 1 may be able to perform a remote wipe depending on the type of device or you may be able to install an app that will perform this for you.
More information on Remote Wipes can be found here.
Travelling abroad? Read our advice sheet here:Travelling abroad with your mobile