SOAS University of London

Mobile Device Information Security Guide

Protect yourselves, others, and your research in the digital world by taking some steps to secure your devices and data.

Mobile Device Information Security Guide (pdf; 147kb)  

  • Wifi at SOAS
  • Authentication
  • Apps and Mobile Security
  • Backup and Update
  • Contact

Overview

Phones and tablets are vulnerable to similar viruses and malware as computers and laptops. They are also an easy target for thieves, so keeping your device and data secure is important. We take information security seriously at SOAS. This is a short guide and some tips on how to keep your mobile devices secure and safe.

Roles and Responsibility

SOAS maintains a secure network, but you are responsible for following the SOAS IT Policy and keeping your data secure. It is your responsibility to keep your devices safe by not leaving them unattended and protected with passwords/pins/biometrics and using SOAS-secured networks.

Wifi at SOAS

eduroam

Connect to eduroam or Wifi-Guest as these are secure networks. SOAS strongly recommends using the eduroam wifi network for your mobile devices while on campus. The SSID (ie the wifi name) of eduroam is all lowercase. This is a secure network that can be used by staff and, students of SOAS, as well as members of other educational institutions who have eduroam enabled on their devices. Once set up, your eduroam-enabled wifi devices can then be used in any other institution that uses the eduroam network.

Wifi-Guest

Wifi-Guest is also a network that can be used by visitors at SOAS. Wifi-Guest uses the Sky wifi cloud network.

Avoid connecting to public unknown or unsecured wifi networks since these can potentially harm your devices or make them vulnerable. Turn off auto connect to networks on your devices to avoid automatically connecting to public unknown or unsecured networks.

Authentication

PINs/Passwords/Biometrics

Use passwords and PINs to secure your data on mobile devices. Turn on the auto-lock feature so your devices lock after a short period of inactivity.

Biometrics are also a great way to keep your devices secure. Most new mobile devices use finger print, retina and facial recognition security to unlock devices.

Use MFA/2FA (Multi or Two Factor Authentication) where possible.

Encrypt your device

Memory cards and internal storage on smartphones and tablets can be encrypted with a password to minimise the risk of your data being accessed by anyone other than you in the case of theft or loss.

Most smartphones have built-in encryption just turn it on via settings to keep data safe.

New laptops are provided with encryption, if you are not sure yours is encrypted contact the IT service desk.

External hard drives/USB flash drives

Encrypt external drives using passwords. This will minimise the risk of your data being accessed by unauthorised users. See how to on the Comparitech website.

Apps and Mobile Security

Only install apps from trusted developers like Google Play, App Store and Windows Store and keep them updated as this will include latest security features.

Look up the privacy settings on Apps. This will help secure what information can and cannot be shared online.

Mobile Device Anti-Virus Software

Use mobile device anti-virus apps and software to help prevent unwanted viruses and malware on devices.

Reducing the damage of a lost or stolen device

Most smart phones and tablets come with a Find my Phone app which allows you to locate your device when lost or stolen and, in many cases, can be used to wipe data on those devices remotely. There are additional apps and software that can be installed to wipe data on a lost or stolen phone. If a mobile device is lost, stolen or damaged, please report to the IT service desk.

Risks of Jailbreaking/Rooting

We do not recommend Jailbreaking or Rooting as it bypasses any security features on your device that allows third party apps to be installed. It invalidates any support warranties and increases the risk of being attacked and compromised. Also many networks could block such devices from connecting, including SOAS.

Clear Data before passing on or disposing of your device

If you plan to give away your device, sell, recycle or dispose always clear the data on the phone and factory reset the device. Remember to remove any external media cards you may have.

Malware/Phising/Viruses

When receiving emails and text messages with links be vigilant this is the most common way of security breach of mobile devices.

Backup and Update

Regularly back up your data whatever device you use. Most devices also have an automatic backup option which is a great way to keep the latest data on your device backed up if you forget to do so manually.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage like OneDrive for Business is a great way to keep your data safe on a secured network and can easily be used to upload and download your data whenever you need. For more info see how to use OneDrive at SOAS.

Phone, tablet and laptop software update

Keep your mobiles devices updated with the latest software updates. These will include the latest security features for the device.

Clear Data before passing on or disposing of your device

If you plan to give away your device, sell, recycle or dispose always clear the data on the phone and factory reset the device. Remember to remove any external media cards you may have.

Contact

You can contact the IT service desk for any further advice or queries at itservicedesk@soas.ac.uk.

If you have any queries about personal data please contact our Data Protection Officer at dataprotection@soas.ac.uk.

To report any suspicious Information Security threats please contact itsec@soas.ac.uk.

Information Security Awareness Training

Please see the Information Security Awareness Training page on Moodle for a quick course on cyber security. This is a valuable course that will make you aware and vigilant of cyber security across all your devices in and out of your house.

Further Information