Device Security

Protect Your Devices

Malware is malicious software that hinders your computer's performance and may be installed without your knowledge, and spyware is a type of malware that is used to siphon personal information from your computer.

Download anti-malware software to prevent, detect, and remove malicisous software at www.avast.com to download free antivirus for your account.

How to Protect Your Computer and Mobile Devices

1. Set a Strong Password

Use a long password of at least 9 characters or more, containing a mix of different character types -- upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation marks, etc. 

2. Lock your devices

Make sure you set your device to lock automatically after a few minutes of idle time, and lock it manually when you set it down. 

3. Admin Accounts

Only use admin accounts for activities that require admin rights. If you are using an admin account for day-to-day use, create a separate admin account and change the account you normally use into a standard user. 

4. Encrypt your device 

This will make it harder to access your personal information in the unfortunate event of theft. Remember that encryption only helps you if your device is locked.

  • iOS: All iOS devices are already encrypted.
  • Android: Make sure to have a password set. Then go to Settings  Security Encrypt Phone/Device.

5. Install Antivirus

Download antivirus on your computer and mobile device (phones can get viruses, too!). Lookout and avast are both good options to protect against malware and other online threats, and are available for free. You can download these antivirus softwares on your phone through an app on the Google Play Store or App store.

Useful Reminders to Keep Your Devices Safe

Back up your data regularly

If the data on your device contains confidential or sensitive information, be sure to choose a solution that you trust to store your data securely.

  • iOS: iOS Devices can be backed up using either iCloud or by connecting your device to a computer and using iTunes. Go here(link is external) for more information on backing up and restoring your data.
  • Android: In the Google Play Store, there are several apps available for backing up your device, including Carbon, Helium Premium, G Cloud Backup, or MyBackup Pro. You can find more information on how to back up your Android device here(link is external).

Track and find your device when lost

If your phone is lost or stolen, you can still protect your privacy if you set up remote access that allows you to locate, lock, and erase the date on your phone remotely. Try Android Device Manager(link is external)(link is external) or Find my iPhone(link is external)(link is external) to enable remote access on your device. 

Wipe your phone's data before switching devices

If you are upgrading your phone or mobile device, make sure you completely erase its data before donating, exchanging, or disposing of it (back it up first!).

  • iOS: iOS Devices can be reset to factory settings by going to Settings  General  Reset, and then choose Erase All Content and Settings
  • Android: Android Devices can be reset to factory settings by going to Settings  Accounts  Backup and Reset and then selecting Factory data reset.

Physical Safety 

Device theft is a serious problem around UC Berkeley, so never leave your valuabke unattended! Set your devices to lock automatically to prevent unauthorized access to your data.

If you need assistance protecting your device contact us at (510) 642-HELP or sts-help.berkeley.edu!

How to Activate Your Firewall

One of the campus security requirements(link is external) is to maintain an active firewall on all your devices. A personal firewall protects your computer from potentially unwanted and harmful network traffic that can exploit security holes on your computer. More recent operating systems (Windows 7 and 8, and Mac OS X 10.6 or higher) have built-in firewall protection, but you still need to make sure that it is activated.

This guide will show you how to manage your firewall and ensure its working for you!

Firewall Protection for Your Mobile Devices 

avast Mobile Security Available for free on Google Play, Avast Mobile Security, features include virus scanning, a firewall, remote cell phone tracking, malware protection, and more.
                                         Go to W3Schools! SecureMe can help you navigate through any Android device to improve its security by allowing you to see and enable basic but important security settings right from the application.
Mobile Security photo There is not a definitive iOS firewall app equivalent for avast Mobile Security, but this article has a few great suggestions for security applications for iOS devices.

Need help setting up a firewall? Contact us!