Androids, iPads, iPhones, BlackBerrys and the list goes on and on. These gadgets are playing an ever-increasing role in our day-to-day lives. We use them to conduct personal and professional business, communicate with families and friends and for entertainment purposes.
Sometimes I think about what I use these things for and wonder if I should be putting the level of trust in them that I do. If you’re anything like me, you probably have dozens of emails, documents and contact information of friends and co-workers stored on these devices. You may also use them to do a little online banking or access resources at work. The fact of the matter is that these devices contain enough information about our personal and professional lives, that if lost, our personal security could be put at risk, our identity stolen or confidential personal and UTMB information compromised.
Occasionally things are lost or sometimes stolen. We have a responsibility to ourselves and others who may be affected by the loss of one of these devices to ensure that they are adequately secured.
While the majority of the devices that connect to our email systems are secured automatically, the ones that aren’t need to be manually configured to be secured. Please be aware if you store any UTMB information on one of these devices, you must take the steps to ensure that specific security features are enabled. It’s also in your best interest to secure your personally owned devices in the same manner.
If your device wasn’t automatically configured to require a pass code, you need to enable the following security features, which in the case of the iPad and iPhone are located in the settings, auto lock and pass code lock areas:
- four-digit pass code
- auto wipe after 10 failed logon attempts
- device lock following 20 minutes of inactivity
- content encryption – this does not apply to Apple products. In these products encryption is auto-enabled once a pass code is applied in iOS 4.0 and above.
Last but not least, all devices must be routinely updated with the manufacturer’s latest software. These updates will fix any known software and security flaws and sometimes add additional functionality to the device. Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad notify users of updates when they connect to a computer with iTunes installed. Other devices will require the users to download and manually install the updates.
If you apply these simple security steps to all those gadgets that we love, or possibly love to hate, you should have comfort in knowing that your ever-so-precious information will be inaccessible if they are ever lost or stolen.
Remember Information Sec-U-R-IT-y