Awareness : Security Awareness Tips

Personal Data Assistant (PDA) Security Tips

The adoption of wireless, handheld devices is becoming widespread. Personal Digital Assistants such as Blackberry, Palm Pilots, HP IPaqs, smart phones, and removable storage devices enable mobile ad-hoc networking of the workforce and provide flexible enterprise data access. However, limited computing power, memory, interfaces, and battery life impose constraints on applying standard security safeguards. The PDA’s small size and mobility also lead to greater exposure to theft or misuse in the field.

  1. Consider a more secure, alternative method for storing any confidential or protected health information (PHI). University of Miami protected servers should be the first option for storage of confidential data, including EPHI.
  2. Only use devices that can restrict access by way of a password or other authentication method.
  3. Enable all practical, security features the device may have, especially encryption of any confidential data such as EPHI.
  4. Store only the minimum amount of confidential data necessary on a mobile device for the shortest time possible.
  5. For data with longer storage requirements, move it to a more secure device and delete it from the mobile device as soon as possible.
  6. Report the loss or theft of a mobile device to the appropriate department/s immediately.

Contact your Information Technology Support staff for specific steps on protecting confidential data on your PDA.

Posted October 20, 2005