Keeping your personal smartphone secure

Our smartphones tend to hold a lot of personal information (such as emails, contacts, text messages, photos, and videos) and work-related data (such as emails with attachments). We also use them to access external systems such as email servers and online banking apps.

That’s why it’s vital to:

  • back up the data on your device regularly
  • lock access to your device in case it’s lost or stolen
  • protect your device against hackers.

Smartphones: Backing up your data

You should back up the data on your smartphone to an external storage device or location. There are numerous apps on Google Play that let you save your personal data to the cloud.

With Samsung’s Smart Switch app, you can back up data from any Android, iOS, Blackberry OS, or Windows Mobile device to a PC of your choosing, then restore the data to another device.

Apple has two methods for backing up data from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch: to either iCloud or iTunes.

You can’t use these backup options for any work-related data that comes under the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act or the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), or that’s covered by official secrecy or other confidentiality rules (such as private medical data or commercially sensitive information).

Since EPFL doesn’t offer a smartphone data backup service, you should avoid storing this type of information on your device.

Smartphones: Locking access to your device in case it’s lost or stolen, and protecting your device against hackers

  • Lock your device.
  • Encrypt your data if it’s not already encrypted (automatic encryption comes as standard under Android 6.0 Marshmallow and later versions). IMPORTANT: You should run a full backup BEFORE encrypting your data, so you have a working copy in case the encryption process goes wrong.
  • Install a remote wipe app on your device (such as Apple’s Find My iPhone app) if it contains work-related data or if you’ve stored your login details on it.
  • Keep your operating system and apps updated.

Check or change security settings for Android devices:

iPhone support:

Smartphones: Device-specific help

Manufacturer help for Samsung, LG, Motorola, Nexus, and Pixel devices: