Office of Information Technology Newsletter

Securing Your Mobile Device

Locked Mobile Device

American University's IT Security Policies have long stated that members of the AU community must set a passcode on their mobile device, prior to configuring it to access AU systems and data. To comply with the policy, AU-owned devices are delivered to faculty and staff already configured to require a four digit passcode or PIN; however, individuals currently have the option to turn off this requirement on some devices.

Today's mobile device has as much computing power as servers used just 5 years ago. Individuals are able to email, text, save voice messages, store data, and conduct banking activities all from their mobile devices. This type of expanded use makes mobile devices a rich target for cyber criminals.

In an effort to minimize risk to you and American University, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) will begin enforcing the passcode or PIN requirement on all devices that connect to Lotus Traveler and the Blackberry Enterprise Server on December 18, 2013. The PIN should be a minimum of 4 characters, numbers or letter, and will not expire. Additional communications will be sent to the affected users between now and the activation date.

Minimum passcode requirements are already enforced through Lotus Traveler for all Android devices and through the Blackberry Enterprise Server for all university Blackberry devices, but passcodes have not yet been enforced on Apple devices. Failure to consistently apply and enforce minimum security requirements for mobile devices which connect to the AU network increases the risk of unauthorized access to university systems and information.

See the appropriate instructions below to set a passcode on your device today. For more information, please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, e-mail helpdesk@american.edu, or instant messenger at AskAmericanUHelp.

Setting a Passcode on Your iOS Device

To comply with the IT Security Policy, you must set a passcode on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, before you configure it to have AU data pushed to the device.

  1. Open SETTINGS. Touch GENERAL and then touch PASSCODE LOCK. Enter a four digit passcode and then confirm it.
  2. Review settings for the passcode. Make sure that it is ON and requires a passcode after a delay of one hour or less.
  3. Touch the PASSCODE LOCK and GENERAL and then SETTINGS buttons to return to the main SETTINGS place. 

Setting a PIN or Password on Your Android Device

To comply with the University's IT Security Policies, you must set a PIN or password on your Android device, before you configure it to have AU data pushed to it. If you do not set a PIN or password before you install Lotus Notes Traveler, you will be prompted to set one during the installation.

  1. Open SETTINGS. Touch SECURITY or MY DEVICE and then touch CHANGE SCREEN LOCK. Enter a four digit minimum PIN or password and then confirm it. The PIN must be numeric, the password can be alphanumeric or numeric.
  2. Review settings for the PIN or password. Make sure that it is ON and requires a password after a delay of 30 minutes or less.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your Android device will be wiped of all data if you enter your PIN or password incorrectly 10 times or more. Please ensure that you choose a PIN or password that is familiar to you and easy to remember.


>> Back to Newsletter