Security Recommendations for Mobile Devices

Mobile devices offer a convenient way to access and store information, but smartphones and tablets can also be easily misplaced or stolen, putting personal information and identities at risk.

Operating System: All

Applies To: UB students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees and volunteers

Last Updated: May 26, 2021

Correctly configuring and securing your device is not only the best way to prevent theft, but will give you the best chance for recovery.

  • Keep your device's smartOS (Android or iOS) as up-to-date as possible, installing any updates right away.
  • Do not use a jail-broken phone.
  • Apps:
    • Only use the official Google Play or Apple app stores – no third-party stores.
    • Do not install apps by clicking on banner adds (malvertising).
    • Beware of fake, malicious or imposter apps:
      • Look at the number of downloads for an app.  A small number of downloads indicates an app that has not be thoroughly vetted.
      • Look for suspicious comments in the app feedback area.
      • Look at average rating.
      • Review who the developer is.
      • Look for spelling or grammatical errors in the app description.
      • Beware of discounts that are too good to be true.
      • Remove any unwanted or seldom used apps.  Seldom used apps can always be easily and quickly reinstalled.
    • Pay attention to what local information (pictures, contacts, camera, microphone) an app is requesting.
  • Authentication:
    • Make sure you set multi-factor and biometric authentication wherever possible.
  • Be sure to backup settings and important files to the built-in iCloud or Google services.
  • Be wary of sending sensitive information over public WiFi, such as found in airports and coffee shops.
  • Ensure encryption of the device.
Still need help?

Contact the UBIT Help Center.