Smartphone and Tablet Data Protection

Mobile Device Safety and Security: You Have Your World in Your Pocket Now, So Keep It Safe

Think about all the information you keep on electronic devices today We’re all using and carrying more electronic devices than ever before, and we’re using them to store ever more important, even vital information. The last few years have seen a boom in smartphones, tablets, and similar mobile devices. The only information that used to be on our mobile phones were phone numbers, but now we have pictures, movies, apps, TV shows, financial information, music, contacts, calendars, email, and more on these little pocket computers. 

Give a thought to all the information you would lose if your phone was lost, stolen, or accidentally dropped into a slushy Flagstaff puddle one morning. Would that cause any problems for you?  Most smartphones in use at NAU today are personally owned, so ITS does not offer any university hosted backup services for them but this article should help you take appropriate steps to safeguard your own data.

Most smartphones provide a method for backing up to either a computer or to a web-service.

  • Android phone and tablet owners can sync contacts, calendars, and emails with Google’s web services and there are several choices of full backup programs in the Android App store. Your cellular service provider may also provide options for backing up and restoring your phone’s data.
  • Apple iPhone, IPad, and iPod Touch owners can back up their devices to a computer with a USB docking cable through iTunes, or wirelessly to Apple’s free iCloud web service.
  • Blackberry owners can back up their devices to a computer using a USB cable and the free Blackberry Desktop Software for Windows and Macintosh downloadable from or wirelessly using a Blackberry App called “Blackberry Protect.”
  • Windows Phone 7 users can back up media (pictures, music, videos) wirelessly to your free Microsoft Skydrive and can also use the Zune desktop software (Windows) or the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Macintosh and a USB cable to make a full backup of your phone’s content automatically before applying a system update. The same desktop software can be used to sync music, pictures and videos to your desktop computer anytime for safekeeping. 

Once the information on your phone is backed up, you should also give some thought to keeping the information on the device from falling into the wrong hands should your device be lost or stolen. If you connect your device to NAU’s Exchange email system, NAU already enforces a password policy and other security measures. Even if you don’t, it would be wise to turn on your device's Idle Lock and set a password to keep prying eyes or curious little fingers out of your phone.

Apple and Microsoft both provide web-based tools to help you locate a misplaced device by using the GPS in the phone to show you its location on a map, and in the event you can’t recover it, you can erase all the data on it using their web services. For Apple devices, log into with your Apple ID and for Windows Phone 7 Devices log into with your Windows Live ID. Users of Android-based phones can add similar features through Android apps such as “Where’s My Droid?” or “Android Lost.” Lost Blackberry devices connected to NAU’s Blackberry Enterprise Server can be remotely wiped by ITS by calling the Solution Center at x1511 or 928-523-1511. Blackberry owners can also download an app called “Blackberry Protect” from the Blackberry App store to help locate and remote wipe lost or stolen Blackberries.


Training & Documentation

Synchronize e-mail, calendars, contacts, and tasks on your Android phone using a program called “Touchdown”.

This document contains information on how to setup iOS devices to connect to NAU's exchange email servers.

Windows mobile 6.0+ and Windows 7 phones