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Mobile Device Security Guidelines

Policy Statement:


Background Issues:

Mobile devices continue to expand in their popularity and usage, blending the functions of the "typical" personal computer and telephone. As these mobile devices replace the role of the traditional computer, they are exposed to an increasing number and sophistication of threats of compromise from malware, theft and loss. Unfortunately, the typical methods used to protect a personal computer are not often available for mobile devices.


This document provides guidance on safely using mobile devices. The rapid development and subsequent deployment of these devices precludes specific instructions so this document will provide general recommendations. You are responsible for consulting the owner/operator manual for your specific device in order to enable the specific features available on your device. Additionally, there are several excellent sources of information to assist you in securing your device; these are noted in the Additional Information section of this page.

Legally/Contractually Restricted Data

The most popular handheld devices are show below with their recommended security settings:


Supports Password/PIN

Supports Remote Wiping

Supports Encryption

Apple iPhone

Yes 2

Yes 3, using MobileMe and/or 10 failed logins with IOS 4+

Yes, IOS 4+ only for iPhone 3GS+


Varies; dependent on hardware manufacturer. Some versions support a "gesture" based password 

Only with third-party application

Only with third-party application



Yes 4, with Enterprise BESvServer

Yes 4, with Enterprise BESvServer

Windows Mobile



Only the flash card or with third-party app

Note the above table: Of the four devices listed, only the iPhone 3GS+ (with IOS 4+) and the BlackBerry (using a Blackberry Enterprise Server - BES) are suitable for storing the University's Legally/Contractually Restricted data. NUIT centrally supports BES and Microsoft ActiveSync; some departments support BES locally. Please contact the NUIT Support Center (847-491-HELP) or your local technical support for information.

Policy Review Date:

July 2012

Original Issue Date:

September 2010

Revision Dates:

July 2012
November 2011

Additional Information:
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