Home » IT Services News » IT Services News No. 160. November-December 2012 » From the Helpdesk ... Protecting Your Mobile Devices

From the Helpdesk ... Protecting Your Mobile Devices


Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are becoming more powerful and portable with extended functionality. With increase in data storage, mobile devices can store large amount of data.  If a mobile device is lost or stolen, personal and sensitive data stored in the device may fall into the wrong hands.  This raises concerns for information security and data privacy.  

Protecting your Mobile Devices

Here is some advice on protecting your mobile devices -

  1. Never Leave Your Mobile Devices Unattended - Never leave your mobile devices unattended, even for a brief moment.
  2. Record Your Device Serial Number – Keep a record of the serial number of your mobile device; this piece of information is useful for police investigation in case of loss or theft.
  3. Use Passcode or Password - Mobile devices provide an option for you to enable passcode and/or password control for turning on the device and unlocking the screen. This is one simple way to protect data on your devices. To set a passcode, please refer instructions for iPhone/iPad/iPod. Android Devices. Windows Devices and Blackberry Devices as appropriate.
  4. Remotely Disable and/or Erase Your Devices – Make sure you know how to remotely disable your mobile device and wipe out any personal data stored in it in case it is lost or stolen.  The Apple’s iCloud service allows users to find missing Apple devices and erase devices remotely. Google offers built-in feature Remote Wipe which allows users to remotely wipe a phone. Third-party apps like Where’s my Droid and Plan B on Android platform allow users to track their missing Android devices. Microsoft also offers Find My Phone feature so that users can ring, lock, erase, or show their phone on a map. Research In Motion (RIM) offers BlackBerry Protect, a free app that allows users to find, lock, or wipe their BlackBerry from a remote location. 
  5. Back Up Your Data – Back up your data regularly so that, in case of loss or theft, you can still retrieve your data from the backup.
  6. Update Your Operating System – Run current, up-to-date versions of operating systems and applications. Remember to synchronize your mobile devices at regular intervals for getting the latest available updates.
  7. Never Store Sensitive Data On Your Devices – Do not store sensitive data, such as HKID card and credit card numbers, in your mobile devices.
  8. Report to the Mobile Carrier – If your mobile device is lost or stolen, it is important for you to contact your mobile carrier immediately. The accrual of unauthorized charges can be minimized or avoided.
  9. Report to the Police – Report lost or stolen mobile device to the nearest police station or visit the HK Police e-Report Room online.


Agnes Chau
Tel: 3549 5707
Email: achau@hku.hk