Most of us rely heavily on our computers and personal devices to do our jobs, shop for our households, navigate unfamiliar roads, communicate with others, and myriad other tasks. Today, we may take this continuous access to the Internet as a given, hopping on and off networks as we move through the world, allowing location tracking to speedily update our search results along the way. A cellphone or computer can feel deeply personal, containing all of our most important information and performing all of our most essential tasks. Our devices are powerful and convenient tools, but they are also gateways for opportunists who exploit vulnerabilities in device security to access valuable personal information.
Without adequate security, anyone who picks up your device can instantly access to your most private data including addresses stored in your navigation apps, passwords, email accounts, document storage, bank account numbers, social security numbers, contacts, photos, and social media, to name only a few. Even if you keep your devices under lock and key, apps installed on your device can also collect and leak your personal information, and hackers can access your device when you’re on an unsecured public network.
There are always risks involved when connecting to the internet from any device, but we balance these risks against the ease, convenience, and immediacy of connectivity. It is possible to enjoy the benefits of technology while ensuring that your devices and data are protected from attackers. WashU’s Office of Information Security is here to help you safely navigate the quickly changing information security landscape. We actively monitor and manage security threats to our campus systems, but your security doesn’t end when you leave campus, so we also provide guidance to help you manage your personal devices and data. Ultimately, our shared security is fortified by your intentional effort to protect yourself and your data. A security breach, even on your personal device, can cascade into vulnerabilities elsewhere in our system. When you do your part to protect yourself and your data, you are contributing to the holistic security strategy that protects our entire institution.
Below, please find guidance on essential security features for Mac OS and iOS devices. We encourage you to use this guidance to better protect your devices. We will continue to update this guidance as necessary, and we will always alert you to new security considerations as they emerge. Guidance for Windows and Android devices will be forthcoming in the near future. If you have questions or concerns, or if you think you might be the target of a security breach, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for all that you do to keep WashU Secure.
- Information Security Strategies for Windows Users
- Information Security Strategies for Android Users