Mobile Device Security and Usage Guidelines

Mobile Device Security and Usage Guidelines


Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) must be appropriately secured to protect yourself, to prevent them from being compromised, to reduce the risk of malware, and to protect Williams. Everyone should adhere to these general best practices when using mobile devices. Additional measures may be possible and appropriate for securing your device.

Password-protect your mobile device: Physical security is critical for mobile devices, which tend to be small and easily lost or misplaced. If your mobile device is lost or stolen, a device password may be all that stands in the way of someone reading your email and other private data. By setting a passcode, you automatically encrypt your device.  An encrypted device with a strong passcode is much more secure.

Choose a strong passcode and set up biometric (fingerprint/face) access. The security of your system is only as strong as the mechanisms you select to protect it. Review OIT’s page for Creating a Strong and Unique Password for more information.  As always, create a strong and different password for every service you use from your phone and elsewhere and do not set your apps to automatically log in.

Follow the college’s Data Classification Policy and Usage Guidelines:  Particularly note that Protected and Need-to-Know information may not be stored on mobile devices.

Keep your operating system and apps updated: To mitigate security threats enable automatic updates for your mobile device’s operating software and apps.

Disable options and delete apps that you don’t use: Reduce security risk by limiting your device to only necessary applications and services. You won’t need to manage security updates for applications you don’t use and you may even conserve device resources like storage space.

Configure Find My Device for your phone/tablet:  You can use this to help locate or wipe your device to protect your information. Also, consider documenting the serial number of and/or engraving your device.

Carefully consider the permissions you grant: Does that app really need access to your location or your camera?  You have power to protect your privacy.

Regularly back up your data: Be sure to have a backup copy of any necessary data in case your mobile device is lost or damaged.

Promptly report a lost or stolen device:  Email [email protected] immediately.  We will help you reset passwords and close sessions to protect your and College information.

Follow safe disposal practices: When you are ready to dispose of your device, be sure to remove all personal information first, then reset  the device to factory settings.

Don’t jailbreak your device or side-load apps: Tampering with your mobile device factory security settings or loading apps from untrusted sources makes it more susceptible to attacks and puts your information at risk.