Mobile Security: Tips to Keep Your Mobile Device Safe


Mobile devices are small, lightweight, and easy to steal.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services records, since 2009, 25% of all reported breaches were due to lost or stolen portable devices including laptops. Learn how to protect yourself:
  • Always save a copy of your purchase receipt with the serial number, GRU Property record number, and description of your mobile device. When possible, clearly mark the device with property or identification tags and your contact information.
  • Get a cable lock for your laptop. Almost all laptops come equipped with a Universal Security Slot that allows you to attach the laptop to a heavy or unbreakable object.
  • Never leave your device in open view in your car. Lock it in your trunk.
  • Don't forget to secure all other products associated with your device: batteries, headsets, power cords, cables, thumb drives, SD chips...etc.
  • Be aware of activity that appears suspicious. Don't leave entry offices unsecured even when leaving for a very brief moment. Most thefts are "crimes of opportunity".

What is Computrace?

Since August 2009, the University has required all new laptops to be purchased with a Computrace license. Computrace helps law enforcement officials find stolen or lost laptops as long as the device is connected to the Internet. If you would like to purchase a license for an existing laptop you may order a license using a P-Card on the Dell premier page. Follow this link and click Dell Quotes.

Once you have purchased a license you can call the Service Desk to have the software installed.

Other Important Steps You Should Take to Secure Mobile Devices

  • Passwords: Protect your mobile device with a password.
  • Sensitive Data: Never store sensitive or confidential data on a mobile device.
  • Use Antivirus Software: The University uses Symantec antivirus software to protect all GRU owned faculty, staff, and student home and office computers. You may obtain a copy of Symantec Antivirus by contacting the IT Service Desk.
  • Patching & Updates: Regular software updates help avoid data loss, new viruses, and other potential risks. GRU-owned computers should be configured to receive critical software updates from Microsoft automatically.
  • Network Storage: Files that contain data related to GRU business, especially confidential or regulated data such as PHI, should be saved to an ITS network file server where the information is protected with a password, backed-up, and availability is ensured. In other words, storing GRU information on your laptop hard drive is not recommended. Your files may be securely accessed from anywhere, on or off campus, where Internet access is available.
  • Personal Firewalls: Personal firewalls are an effective layer of security that takes only a few minutes to install.
  • Wireless: Wireless access to your laptop should be disabled when not in use to prevent unauthorized wireless access to the computer. Wireless access should be configured to query the user for confirmation before connecting to wireless networks. GRU provides access to an encrypted secure wireless network that provides access to campus resources for all users with valid NetIDs and passwords. This network should be used for all official university business when on a campus wireless connection. Contact the IT Service Desk for assistance.

What to Do in Case of Loss or Theft

  • In the event your device is lost or stolen, you should immediately file a report with Public Safety at (706) 721-2911 and file a lost/stolen equipment report with the Office of Asset Management. 
  • If you have reason to believe a lost or stolen device contained confidential, sensitive, or research information you must immediately report this to the IT Security Office by contacting IT Service Desk, (706) 721-4000.
  • If your BlackBerry device is lost or stolen, please contact the IT Service Desk, (706) 721-4000. A remote “kill” command can be sent to the handheld, which will erase all of the device data and disable it so that it can no longer be used on the GRU Network. The device must be turned on and in an area with sufficient coverage to receive the command. If the device is turned off or out of coverage, the command is queued on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server until the device is turned on or returns to an area with sufficient coverage.