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Only Download Apps from Trusted Sources

Apple App Store
Google Play StoreIf you download apps for your Android or Apple devices, only use reputable and trusted sources (such as iTunes or the Play Store), and never directly from the internet onto your mobile device. In a six month scan by McAfee in 2016, they detected 37 million malicious apps for mobile devices. Don't take a risk of downloading an app that you're unsure of when there are many good applications available for free.

User Secure networksSecure Wifi

When possible, limit data usage in public. If you're downloading data over the air or via an unsecure Wi-Fi connection, you leave your mobile device exposed to attackers. Limit your mobile device usage to playing games or surfing the Web and try to avoid tasks such as online banking or e-commerce. The best way to protect your device is through a secure, password protected Wi-Fi and/or through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. If you home network is unsecured, enable Wi-Fi WPA2 encryption and disable WPS.

Lock your Devices with a Pin or Password

Lock Screen for Mobile Device

Locking your device screen will not protect your mobile device from being stolen. If someone is determined to steal your mobile device, they likely will steal it. However, locking your device with a pin or password will safeguard your private and personal information. Most people will be unable to bypass your lock screen, thus your personal data on the mobile device will be safe. You will only need to worry about replacing the device instead of worrying about whether your identity has been stolen. If your mobile device is stolen, Apple, Google, or your wireless provider may be able to locate and/or wipe it remotely to protect your data. Also if your mobile device is stolen, please contact DECS and MSU ITS so they can help you protect any accounts you may have used on the device. Contacting banks or providers of other important accounts would also be a good idea.

Enable Inactivity Time

On your mobile devices, enable or confirm your inactivity monitor/timer. This will allow the device to either turn off the display or turn itself off, preventing people from snooping through your device. If you enable the inactivity timer plus the pin/password, the device will require you to enter your information. This will ensure someone won't be able to view or access your data if the device is unattended.

Keep Your Phone/Device Operating System Up-toAndroid log-dateApple Logo

No matter what type of device you have, you should always have the latest version of the Operating System (some Android manufacturers may take a while before they release it but it is well worth it).  Even though having the latest version of the operating system adds bonus features to the device, many updates fix security loopholes. Most device manufacturers allow you to set your device to check for updates automatically, if your devices allow it, make sure this box is checked.

Do Not Leave Your Device Unattended

Keep your mobile device on you at all times. It only takes one unguarded second to lose your possession.

Be Cautious of Using Cloud Services to Backup University Data

Michigan State University has a policy regarding the storage of university data. Make sure that that you are following the University Data Policy when storing data on mobile devices. Whenever possible, use university storage for your data needs. If you have questions about services available, contact the support office at

Security category