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Guard Your Privacy: Track Your Mobile Devices

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Smartphones and other mobile devices play an important part in many people’s everyday lives.  A mobile device often serves as a control center for our daily lives, allowing us to stay organized communicate with family, friends, and colleagues, among others. Your mobile device probably contains information you consider vital and personal. 

Unfortunately, you are not alone in placing a high value on the information contained on your mobile device. To criminals, it is not just your device that is valuable, the information on your phone is worth just as much as its resale price on the black market.  So, how do you protect yourself? 

Make sure you can track your device if it is lost or stolen. Install a device finder or manager on your mobile device and make sure it has remote wipe capabilities and also protects against malware.

Apple Products

Make sure Find My iPhone is enabled for your device(s). You can use Find My iPhone to locate your device and take additional actions that can help you recover it and keep your data safe. If Find My iPhone is not activated on your missing device, you can still protect your data.  Login to the Apple ID account page at https://appleID.apple.com, and in the security section, click Change Password. You will be asked to enter your current password and then you can enter a new password. Changing your password will prevent anyone from accessing your iCloud data from your missing device. You should also change the passwords for other internet accounts on your device, including email accounts, Facebook, and Twitter.

Activate Lost Mode.  Using Lost Mode, you can remotely lock your device with a four-digit passcode, display a custom message, and keep track of your device’s locations. To turn off or cancel Lost Mode, you will need to enter the passcode on your device. You can also turn off Lost Mode on iCloud.com or from the Find My iPhone app.

Report your lost or stolen device to local law enforcement. Law enforcement personnel might ask you for the serial number of your device.  To find the serial number, go to supportprofile.apple.com and login with your Apple ID and password.

Report your lost or stolen device to your wireless carrier. Your carrier can disable your account, preventing phone calls, texts, and data use.

Erase your device.  To prevent anyone else from accessing the data on your missing device, you can erase it remotely. When you erase your device, all of your information will be deleted from the device, and you won’t be able to find it using Find My iPhone.

If your Apple device is off or offline, you can still put it in Lost Mode. You can also lock it or remotely erase it.  Go to icloud.com and click on Find My iPhone then select the device you want to track or lock.

Android Products

Although there are ways to track your Android device without installing a tracking app, being prepared will give you a great advantage should the unthinkable occur. There are several phone recovery or anti-theft apps in the Google Play store. Some recommended tracking apps are Google’s Android Device Manager, Lookout, Cerberus, and Prey.

If you don’t want to install a tracking app, there is another way to secure and find your Android phone.

Android Device Manager.  If your Android device is connected to your Google account, Android Device Manager (ADM) is turned on by default. However, to use the service, your phone needs to be connected to the internet.  If you lose your device, log into your Google account and go to the Android Device Manager (google.com/android/devicemanager). Once the site is loaded it will automatically find your phone. If you have more than one Android device, make sure the right one is selected from the dropdown menu. You will be able to track your device, send a ring tone, or remotely wipe its data.

If you don’t have access to a computer connected to the internet and you have a friend with an Android device, you can use their Android Device Manager app. Sign in using Guest Mode and your Google account credentials.

AirWatch Mobile Device Manager

UT System has purchased licenses for AirWatch Mobile Device Manager (MDM). More information about the MDM can be found here:  https://community.utsystem.edu/sites/infosec/mobility/SystemAdminMDM

For more information on securing your mobile devices contact UT System Administration’s Information Security team at security@utsystem.edu.