Keeping your phone and tablet secure

Students looking at a mobile device with Secure U logo graphic overlaid

We've all seen the prompts on our smartphones, laptops, and tablets: Update your device to the latest version! It’s easy to ignore, push off, or decline. However, the 10 minute disruption is worth it to ensure your personal and digital security.

Update your device

Always update your device when prompted, or when you have the first opportunity. In addition to improving the overall performance of your devices, updates often patch security vulnerabilities. Sneaky cyber criminals may read patch reports or updates from the issuing companies (think Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Google, and more) to find new ways to compromise your un-updated devices or apps, so it's a good idea all-around to bite the bullet and click "agree" instead of "not now" when you get that pesky pop-up.

Update your apps

Another good idea is to go the distance and update your apps, too. These updates are less obtrusive and can usually run in the background. They will afford the most up-to-date version of the app, and the best security as well. Sometimes app developers discover vulnerabilities in their program (which may compromise your data or information that you have on your device, or have provided via the app) and the way to solve those security issues is to use the most recent version of the app. And it’s easy to do! Simply visit your app store and check for downloads. Most devices also have settings that allow for auto-updates so you don’t have to do a thing.

Lock down your apps

Looking for another way to secure the important information you carry in your purse or pocket? Take another step and lock down your apps. A secondary lock or login is the new standard on banking and financial apps, but there are options for other apps - think social media. The more layers of security you have, the stronger your devices will hold up to threats or vulnerabilities. Secondary locks are often available in the form of an additional passcode or fingerprint or facial verification.

User data is a major target of cybercriminals. The information you have stored on your phone or tablet may seem useless or standard to you, but those small devices contain multitudes of important and valuable information such as credit card credentials, email passwords, contact lists, University data, and more. Updating your device and your apps regularly and when prompted is an easy way to help keep that information safe and secure!