Page Menu

Secure Your Personal Devices

Below are best practices to secure your personal devices.  Not only to protect your personal machine and data, but also to protect Medical School data and prevent the introduction of malware to the Medical School's network.

Desktops and Laptops:

Desktops and laptops can contain many vulnerabilities.  To combat these vulnerabilities, ensure that your machine is:

  • Updated with the latest patches - scan your machine.
  • Encrypted - check your encryption status.
  • Has Anti-Virus installed - Anti-virus is free for home use.  Get it here!
  • Have a strong password (you can reference the UMass Chan Password Policy for guidance). 
  • Enforce a screen saver that times out after 15 minutes - this will reduce the length of time that you machine is accessible to others.
  • Install a geo-locator - this will allow you to locate your machine in the event that it is lost or stolen.

*As a reminder, never store UMass Chan data on your personal device.

Mobile Devices:

Cell phones and tablets are subject to the same security risks as computers.  In an effort to promote awareness around these devices, please see the best practices below: 

Make the contents of your phone unavailable and unusable to anyone other than you by:

  • Enabling lockout and timeout settings - Most devices can be set to require a password that disables operation if they are inactive for a while. For example, once your device has been idle 10 minutes, you must enter a password before you can use it again.
  • Setting a password or PIN - Setting a password or PIN on your device is an excellent way to prevent someone else from using it or accessing the information you’ve stored on it.                                                
  • Ensuring cell phones and tablets are encrypted.
  • Downloading “find my iDevice” or find my Device (for Android) and enable the remote data wipe option.  This will allow you to locate and wipe your cell phone or tablet if it is lost or stolen.
  • Turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when in public areas.  This will prevent “hijacking” as your device is visible to others when these services are enabled.
  • Only downloading applications from reputable sources, such as iTunes and Google Play.
  • Installing anti-virus solutions.
  • Installing system and application updates - Check for updates for your handheld device regularly. By installing the latest software, you not only get the newest applications for your device, you also get the latest security updates to better protect your information.
  • Being aware of phishing schemes (Smishing) – don’t fall for unsolicited calls or messages 

 *As a reminder, if you receive UMass Chan emails on your mobile device, the device must be encrypted regardless of ownership. See the Mobile Device Encryption page for additional information.