Mobile Device Security

The Federal Communications Commission reports that the theft of cell phones currently makes up 30 to 40 percent of all robberies nationwide.  In order to protect both university and personal data on mobile devices, TTS requires users to set a 4-digit access passcode on their mobile devices.   This small, minimally intrusive measure can help protect the university and bring peace of mind to a device owner.    

Steps you can take to prevent your device from being lost or stolen

  • If possible, avoid using your mobile device while riding public transportation
  • Conceal expensive electronic equipment in public
  • Change the color of the ear buds; would-be thieves look for the distinctive white ear plugs of Apple
  • Refrain from listening to music or wearing headphones in busy areas where a device could be quickly taken
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially if you are using your electronic device

The information that follows pertains to smart phones and tablets. For information about security measures for laptops, see Lost or Stolen Laptops.

Steps the university takes to protect your data

  • As of Summer 2013, enablement of a 4-digit passcode for mobile devices using ActiveSync to access Tufts Exchange Environment.
  • Offering the ability for a device owner to delete the data on their device through Exchange (see instructions below).  Tufts will never delete your data, unless you expressly request us to do so.
  • Offering data encryption for those using Outlook Web Access (OWA).   

Mitigating the consequences of a lost or stolen device

  • Back-up your mobile device
  • Use a password or passcode
  • Install an app that can locate and remotely wipe (delete) your mobile device's data in the event that it is lost

See Computers and Mobile for more information and indivudual steps for iPhone, Android, and Windows mobile.

What to do if your device is lost or stolen

All lost mobile devices that have been configured to use Tufts email via Exchange Active Sync can be remotely disabled and wiped if you have previously accessed your Tufts email from the device.

To wipe a mobile device using ActiveSync:

  1. Contact the Information Security team if sensitive information may have been stored on the device.
  2. Log into Tufts Outlook Web App at
  3. Select the Options - All Options tab in the upper right hand corner.
  4. Click Phone, then choose your phone number.
  5. Next, click the Wipe Device button to remotely wipe your device.
  6. Change all saved passwords immediately. This includes your Google and Tufts accounts, as well as any other accounts that may be registered via apps on the device (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).

For tips on turning off location-based services, disabling Bluetooth, and more visit the Tufts ITKB's Mobile Security page. If you would like help with any mobile device security measures:

Call: 617-627-3376
Faculty and staff can also contact their IT Support Provider