Securing your device

Once you have connected a device to any of our systems, or your accounts, asides from carrying a very powerful tool in your pocket or bag to help facilitate and enhance your learning experiences with us here at the University, it is also worth remembering that you are also providing access to those systems or accounts to anyone that can gain physical access to your device.

Whilst we would hope that no student ever finds themselves in this situation, losing your device could mean that your accounts and access to our systems are misused in some way, important information or emails erased, changed or even stolen, and any number of unpleasant activities conducted in your name as the original account holder.

Needless to say we would like to recommend that you do all you can to protect your device against this where possible or at least ensure that you minimise the risks of anything untoward occuring with your device should it become lost or stolen.

Entry Locking your device.

One of the most effective ways to physically secure your device is to set up an entry lock code on the system, which requires you to correctly enter a pin code, passphrase or pattern before you are able to use the device.

Users of iOS based devices such as the iPhone or iPad or Windows Mobile devices should find that these features are included natively on their system, and can be enabled and configured from the settings menu.

Laptop and netbook users, on the other hand, should consider enabling passwords on user accounts on their systems.

Android device users however, may find that their device does not include any locking mechanisms natively, and may need to download an additional app for their device from the appslib or Google Store.

Keeping up to date.

As one of the largest IT growth sectors in recent times, the smartphone and tablet device markets have seen not only a boom in the variety of devices and systems available to consumers, but have also lead to a rapid increase in the number of virus’s and malware applications designed to take advantage of those systems.

Whilst it’s never completely possible to secure your system against malware, it is possible to significantly reduce the potential for malicious users and programs to harm your device or data by ensuring that you have the most up to date versions of all the software on your device possible.

As a result we would recommend that you ensure that you check your device for updates no less than once per month, and ensure that all available patches are installed where possible.

Whilst most malware can eventually be removed from your system, and most data restored with antivirus utilities and anti malware scanners, patches and updates often include security updates which can prevent malicious applications from infecting your system in the first place, saving you not just time, but also money and stress at the same time.

Antivirus Applications.

In some cases, however, not even the most up to date systems can prevent malware or viruses from getting onto your system. As a result it is also highly recommended that you install some form of antivirus software on your system, either as a last resort to help prevent malicious programs from infecting your pc, or to assist you in removing them once an infection has taken place.

For laptop or netbook users there are a variety of both free and premium antivirus software solutions available. Amongst the most popular are:

  • AVG (Free)
  • Kaspersky
  • Norton Antivirus

There are currently no known antivirus applications for iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads or for Windows Mobile devices, and users will instead need to restore their devices or reset them to factory settings instead.

Android devices, on the other hand, have a number of antivirus solutions available, and several which can be recommended are:

  • Avast! (Free)
  • Norton Antivirus (Free lite version, or paid full version)
  • Antivirus PRO (Free lite version, or paid full version – from the developers of AVG)