Five Steps to Secure Your Mobile Device

Volume 5, No. 18

The mission of the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US_CERT) is to improve the nation's cybersecurity posture, coordinate cyber information sharing and proactively manage cyber risks to the nation while protecting the constitutional rights of Americans. Take action now and follow the five steps below for securing your mobile device. This information and more can be found at the Information Security Guide* website. 

1.      Configure mobile devices securely.
          a. Enable auto-lock.
          b. Enable password protection and require complex passwords.
          c. Avoid using auto-complete features that remember user names or passwords.
          d. Ensure that browser security settings are configured appropriately.
          e. Enable remote wipe.
          f.  Ensure that SSL protection is enabled, if available.     
2.      Connect to secure Wi-Fi networks and disable Wi-Fi when not in use
           a.US-CERT recommends disabling features not currently in use such as Bluetooth, infrared, or Wi-Additionally, set Bluetooth-enabled devices to non-discoverable to render them invisible to unauthenticated devices.
           b. Avoid joining unknown Wi-Fi networks.
3.      Update mobile devices frequently. Select the automatic update option if available.
          a. US-CERT recommends maintaining up-to-date software, including operating systems and applications.
4.      Utilize anti-virus programs and configure automatic updates if possible. 
          a. US-CERT recommends installing anti-virus software as it becomes available and maintaining up-to-date signatures and engines.
5.      Take appropriate physical security measures to prevent theft or enable recovery of mobile devices.
          a. For laptops, use cable locks.
          b. Use tracing and tracking software (visit the Information Security Guide* website for resource suggestions).
          c. Never leave your mobile device unattended.
          d. Report lost or stolen devices immediately.
          e. Remember to back up data on your mobile device on a regular basis.

Additional information is available at the Information Security Guide* website.
*Safari browser recommended for a more satisfactory experience when viewing the Information Security Guide website.

If you have questions or need assistance, please call the Help Desk at (805) 493-3698 or send e-mail to Additional information is available at the Computer Training Website; in addition, an archive of previous Tech Bytes issues is located at