How can I keep my mobile device safe?

As mobile devices have become increasingly important in our everyday lives, they have also become a primary target of thieves and hackers. Follow these easy tips below to keep your device and your information safe.


Built-in security features

  • Lock your phone: Android and iOS devices can be locked so even if somebody else has your phone, they don't have easy access to your personal information. Take this easy step to protect your mobile device from anybody who may get their hands on it without your permission.
    • Lock iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices using Settings > General > Passcode Lock. Learn more at
    • The exact settings for Android devices vary, but default Android phones can be locked using Settings > Security > Screen Lock. Check with your phone's manufacturer or service provider for full details.

Remotely Find/Wipe Your Phone:

  • Google and Apple have built-in tools on their mobile devices that allow you to find your phone, lock it remotely, and more from any computer. Be sure to install any operating system updates as soon as they are available to have the most up-to-date security features. Contact the police as soon as any device is stolen and never confront suspected criminals or try to reclaim your device yourself.
    •  Use the Find My iPhone feature if an iOS 5 or later device is stolen. This feature must be activated on each device in advance, so take a moment to set it up now. Learn more at
    •  For information on how to use Find My iPhone to locate a device, send a message, lock the phone, force it to ring, or even to wipe the phone after a device is lost or stolen, go to
    • Google's Android Device Manager, for devices running Android 2.2 or later (most devices made since 2011), is available at Login with the Google account that you use on your phone to see the current location of your phone and force it to ring. You can also remotely wipe the contents of your phone with some simple advanced setup. 

Physical security

  • Your phone or tablet is small and easy to steal: Thieves might sell your phone or they might use it to steal your identity. Report any theft of your phone immediately.
  • Be a good Samaritan, not a victim:  If you don't know someone, don't let them use your phone. Instead, politely refer them to the WSU blue light phones or to a nearby building for help. If there is an emergency, make the call yourself. On and near campus, dial the WSU Police at 313-577-2222. Anywhere else, dial 911.
  • Avoid Apple picking: When you're using your cell phone while walking, you're letting your guard down. A thief on foot or on a bike can easily grab your phone out of your hand. Police call it "Apple picking" and it's a costly lesson. Be alert and aware of your surroundings -- stay off the phone while walking.
  • Thwart tabletop thieves: If your phone is not in use, keep it out of sight. Don't leave it on a table while studying or eating, and never walk away without your phone.

Antivirus and other security apps

Mobile devices have some built-in security features, but third-party companies have also produced applications for added security. C&IT has evaluated some of this software and has found the following applications that offer the most features for free. C&IT does not endorse or provide support for these products and other products are available.

WSU-SECURE wireless internet

C&IT recommends using the WSU-SECURE wireless network as your preferred network on campus. The WSU-SECURE wireless network encrypts the data travelling from your smartphone, tablet, or computer to the wireless access point so that no one nearby can access your personal information. This protects passwords, private accounts, emails, banking information, and more.

In addition to the added security, the WSU-SECURE wireless network is easier to use. Once you have completed the initial setup as instructed at, your device will automatically log you on and connect you to the Internet. WSU-SECURE is available anywhere wireless Internet is available on campus.