July 21, 2014

Nine tips to keep your mobile device secure

Information Security Officer Jessica Odom offers nine tips to keep your mobile device secure.
  • Information Security Officer Jessica Odom

Securing information transferred over the Internet has become a difficult task. In the past year, 368 major data breaches exposed more than 10 million records. In April, experts discovered Heartbleed, an error in security software that some have called the biggest flaw in Internet history. It left millions of people’s passwords and personal information open to the public. Researchers have even identified vulnerability in Paypal’s two-step security system for mobile users, widely believed to be untouchable.

Fortunately, Lewis & Clark faculty and staff can find expert guidance right on campus. In her eight years in the field, Information Security Officer Jessica Odom has served as a resource for the security community and developed tools to secure devices for Lewis & Clark faculty and staff. At the last two Secure World Portland conferences, she led industry expert panels on mobile device security.

The Source asked for her best advice for keeping mobile devices secure.

  1. Never share your password, not even with your spouse, friends, or coworkers. If you lose or forget your password, set a new one. Use a password safe like KneePass to keep track of sensitive account information.
  2. Never click an email link to your bank or any other site with sensitive information. Some fake sites look like the real thing, but they steal the information you type in. Use your trusted bookmarks instead.
  3. Only download apps from trusted marketplaces, and make sure they come from reliable developers.
  4. Keep your phone updated by always choosing to apply software updates. Always update operating systems and antivirus or antimalware software.
  5. Learn how to disable all geotagging, location information embedded in photos and other multimedia content. Click on this guide for steps to disable geotagging on a number of devices.
  6. Enable tracking to find your lost phone. Click here for instructions on how to track iPhones. Android users can download the SeekDroid app.
  7. Avoid sensitive business when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot.
  8. When banking and shopping, look for a secure web URL, marked by https:// or shttp://.
  9. Report unsolicited texts, telemarketing, or spam to the Federal Trade Commission.

Caleb Diehl ’16 contributed to this story.