Secure Computing

Safe Mobile Computing

Mobile devices (smartphones, iPad, iPods, tablets) are small and valuable, and thus are particularly vulnerable to theft, robbery, and resale.

With email, web browsing, applications, and gigabytes of file storage, your mobile devices are a potential security and privacy risk. Your mobile device is also an open window into your professional life and the computing environment here at Yale, so avoiding potential phone theft is also critical to keeping Yale's data secure and confidential.

For our "always on the go" lives, it's important to remember a few things when using your mobile devices:

Public Wi-Fi

Your data is not safe when you use a public Wi-Fi network (any wireless network that allows you to join without a password or with a common password). Almost anything that goes across your screen can be seen by those around you. This includes those who may look over your shoulder, as well as anyone who may be "sniffing" network traffic. Someone "sniffing" network traffic can acquire any usernames or passwords that you may use or any data that you send over the internet, compromising your safety and security. Use secure networks, such as Yale's secure wireless network.

Secure sites

When logging in to a website, entering information into forms, or reading sensitive material, check to see that you are on a secure page. Look at the address bar in your browser. The web address for a regular, unsecured page will start with http. A secured page starts with https. Many browsers also have another way to tell if the page is secure. For example, the address bar might be green or there may be a small padlock in the bottom bar of your browser. Be familiar with how your browser designates a secure page, and watch for those signals.

What about Macs?

Apple computers are often considered to be safer and less prone to viruses. Whether or not Macs are less prone to viruses, information Mac users send over public wireless networks is just as visible as information from any other type of computing device. Mac users should take the same precautions as other users. Use a firewall, keep programs updated, and be careful of what you download.

Use the VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Use Yale's VPN when you are off campus. The VPN client uses secure encryption technology that helps to protect your information. Yale's VPN allows you to connect to the Yale network from any location and have full access to all network resources, such as servers, printers, your network storage, and the Library's electronic materials.

Please see Physical Security for Mobile Devices for more information.