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  • InsideTrack
  • September 03, 2014

    Mobile Device Gone Missing? Protect Your Information Before It’s too late

    Protecting the information on your mobile device is easy. Password protection is the first step toward security. A variety of apps also are available.

    Genevieve Zook

    Sept. 3, 2014 – Your suddenly realize your electronic device is missing. Panic sets in. Is it lost? Is it stolen? Where did you see it last? One thing is for sure, it’s too late to do the simple things that could have protected your information – such as using password protection and encryption apps.

    Set up a Complex Password on Your Device

    Setting up a complex password in your settings is the first step to ensure that you are taking reasonable measures as a legal professional to safeguard your device. Tom Mighell, author of iPad in One Hour for Lawyers, recommends creating a 12-character password. However, if a 12-character password seems excessive, the number of characters may not be as important as including a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

    How to Create a Complex Password on the iPad

    If you use an iPad, the default password setting is a four-digit simple password, but a four-digit password is not nearly strong enough. To set up a complex password on your iPad, go to settings, then general and press password lock. Set password to ON and enter and confirm your password. At this point, you can also set your logout to 5 or 10 minutes rather than immediately to spare yourself repeatedly entering your password.

    Genevieve ZookGenevieve (Jenny) Zook is the reference and instructional services librarian for the University of Wisconsin.

    Another recommendation is to turn off Siri, your intelligent personal assistant, in password settings so that those without a password will not have access to your device through Siri.

    Finally, to protect your device if it is misplaced or stolen, find iCloud in settings, locate Find My iPad, and swipe to ON. Using Find My iPad remotely helps you locate a missing device, and in the event that it has been stolen, you can remotely wipe out your data.

    How to Set Up a Password with an Android Device

    Because there are a variety of android devices, you will need to read the instruction manual your device came with to set up security. But, in general, go to the menu, select settings, and tap security. Following the directions in screen lock, you can create a PIN, password, or set up face unlock.

    You will also want to set up Android Device Manager by Google just in case you need to locate a lost device or want to remotely erase your data.

    After you have set up a complex password, I encourage you to do one more important thing: REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORD, especially if you use an encryption app for your files. A strong password and encrypted files offers security, but forgetting your password can mean you will no longer have access to important data. Create a master password you will remember.

    Encryption Apps for the iOS & Android

    Boxcrytor is a free app for iOS and Android. This app adds security to your cloud-based storage. Boxcrytor works with Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive, Sugarsynch, and others.

    SpiderOak is endorsed by Edward Snowden and described as Dropbox for the security obsessive. SpiderOak markets itself a ‘zero-knowledge' privacy cloud technologies company. Available in iOS and Android, the app is free.

    Viivo is a well-reviewed free app service that lets you secure and encrypt your Dropbox files and folders. Available in iOS and Android.

    Kryptos has a monthly $10 charge but is free to download. Instead of text, it encrypts voice communication, but both parties need to have this app for it to work. Use Kryptos when you don’t want anyone listening to your calls. Available for iOS and Android.

    Antivirus Apps

    Since we are talking about security, let’s not overlook antivirus apps. These software programs detect and remove computer viruses that could compromise or destroy all your information.

    VirusBarrier scans for virus and malware that might be on a document that you download to your device. It stops viruses and malware from passing through your iPad and infecting your Mac or PC. The cost is 99 cents.

    Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus for Android and Avast Secureline for iOS is free, simple, fast and has an option to upgrade to a premium package. Avast Mobile has a suite of antivirus, security, and backup programs built into its app. Lock, locate, and protect your device with a wide array of features and options ranging from password protection to siren activation.

    Lookout Security and Antivirus has a premium version, where more features are available, but also has a free version and lots of security features including: a find my device option; continuous virus scanning; and, if someone incorrectly enters a password three times, the app takes a picture.

    Norton Mobile Security is well respected for its desktop protection and its mobile app has several security features, including a message that appears on your device if it is lost and a scream function for locating your device by sound. You can also create an account online and synch up protection for all your devices in one place, the app is free. Available for Android.

    ZDBox for iOS and ZDBox for Android has everything for security on your device except virus protection and because it offers so much it’s recommended in the Android Apps in One Hour for Lawyers, by Daniel Seigel. This app monitors your battery life and your traffic information so you don't go over your monthly allotment. It also has a file manager, task killer, history eraser, uninstaller, and many other features.

    If you are interested in learning more about security apps for lawyers, there are two introductory books from the “In One Hour” series by ABA Publishing: iPad in One Hour for Lawyers by Tom Mighell and Android Apps in One Hour for Lawyers by Daniel J. Siegel. Neither of these books is for the lawyer “geek,” but both work well for anyone who wants to get up to speed on their new device.

    The UW Law Library has also created two guides that you may find helpful and each guide has a section on security apps. Look for the security tab at the top of the page:

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