Mobile Devices

Keep your mobile device safe!

Mobile devices are an integral part of life at Duke.  While such devices cannot be secured in the same way as your desktop or laptop computer, we recommend the following precautions:

Settings> My Phone> Screen Lock

  iOS (8.x+)

Android OS (4.x+)

Update OS:

Settings > General > Software Update

Settings > About Phone > Software Updates

Set a passcode / screen lock:

Settings > Passcode  
Enable encryption: Enabled once the Passcode Lock is configured Settings> Security> Encrypt Device

Remote wipe:

1. Sign in to iCloud with your AppleID at

2. Choose Find My iPhone.

3. Select the appropriate device.

4. Click Erase iPhone from the device screen.

*Requires iCloud configuration and the Find My iPhone app

Not all Android devices provide remote wipe capabilities by default.

Check your mobile provider to see if they offer apps with this functionality.

Alternatively, check the Play Store for third-party remote wipe products.



System Updates & Security Software
Mobile devices are susceptible to malware, viruses, and similar threats. Please ensure your software is always up-to-date and install security applications when available.

Password & Encryption
Ensure your device is password protected to prevent un-authorized access.  Use passwords to help protect your privacy if your device is lost or stolen.

Password protect any important documents that are kept on your device. Your grocery list doesn't need a password, but you don't want confidential information in the hands of a thief. Various applications are available for each device that allow this type of security.

Encryption helps to obfuscate critical data on the device if it's ever lost or stolen.

Never leave a smartphone unattended, even for just a minute. Make it a habit to keep your phone close at all times.

Keep only the documents you really need on your smartphone, and remove and archive older files you don't actively use anymore.

Never allow your cell phone software to automatically supply a password for you. If you do, it means that anyone with your phone can access your accounts.

Trading your device in

Before you trade-in or donate your device, be sure that you have wiped all personal information from it. See 'Remote Wipe' below for more information and instructions. 

Remote Wipe

Perform a remote wipe on any mobile device if the device is lost or stolen and prior to re-use, disposal, or trade-in.  Mobile devices should be wiped to remove any Duke data on the device, and any connection to Duke data (such as Duke email) should be disconnected.  This recommendation applies to Duke-owned devices and any personal devices that may be used to connect to Duke resources.

Note: Cell phones purchased or provided by Duke University should follow the policies issued by the Duke University Procurement Office.  Duke University mobile devices should be returned to Procurement and may not be traded in.

  • If you have a Duke-owned device, consult with IT staff regarding options and configuration to remotely wipe data from the device in the event that it is lost or stolen.
  • For personal devices, consider the steps outlined in the above chart to allow for remotely wiping a device when needed.  University Exchange accounts may also wipe a device using the Outlook Web App ( When viewing your account options, click "Phone" in the left hand. Devices configured to access your Exchange account will be displayed along with the option to wipe the device. Further instructions to perform a remote wipe are located at:
  1. Apple device (iphone, tablet):
  2. Android device:

Similar to the topic of remotely wiping a device, using applications such as Prey (, an open source anti-theft solution available for multiple platforms on various devices, will allow you certain options should your device get stolen. Other alternatives to help locate lost/stolen devices are Find My iPhone (any Apple device, not just phones), Lookout (for Android), and LoJack for laptops.

*Remember to always contact the DUPD or other local law enforcement to report theft. DO NOT take matters into your own hands.*

Only connect to Duke via the Internet when using the Duke VPN client. Review the Virtual Private Networkpage from OIT concerning the university VPN FAQs which include connecting to the VPN client from mobile devices.