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Smartphones

Smartphones are mobile devices combining telephony, calendar, email, web browsers, and the ability to transfer data.  Many also incorporate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.  IT services has evaluated the benefits (and pitfalls) and have issued some guidelines if you are considering the purchase of a mobile phone or smartphone.

If you want to synchronise your device with your University diary using a direct connection to your PC or Mac this can usually be achieved.

Using Microsoft Exchange Activesync you can now use your smartphone to update your University diary automatically, and to have your email "pushed" to your device.  Most modern smartphones can use this system.

A word of warning

Smartphone users need to be careful about how secure the data is on their phones, and must take steps to ensure they protect their devices.  Increased levels of usage have led to a huge upturn in the amount of personal and sensitive data held on these devices, as well as huge amounts of data being transferred between devices.  Email addresses, email messages, online banking details, stored passwords, etc are all sensitive data.

Smartphones not only transmit data they also store user data, making them valuable to fraudsters, as well as being of potential value to other miscreants.  However, these same features also make them a valuable commodity to specialist forensic investigators.

Forensic investigators are able to interrogate smart phones logically (i.e. the data in the device’s temporary memory) and physically (i.e. data permanently stored onto the device’s hard drive).  Full reports on the logical and physical dumps can be produced within a few hours, and only a little longer if a pass code is present on the phone.

The data stored on most smartphones that can be restored or retrieved forensically can include deleted voicemail messages, pictures, emails, calendar events and text messages.  Deleted photographs can be examined to ascertain where the photographs were taken, and when coupled with the images meta data, can be used to paint a picture of where the user of the phone has been, and when.  iTunes history, application history, GPS data, and preferences can all be restored.  Google Maps caches data, which allows investigators to see a history of directions looked up on the phone.  Typing things on the smartphone also caches data. This means that an SMS or email message can be recovered even if the message was deleted before sending.

In conclusion, be aware that your smartphone is vulnerable.  Try to use it sparingly for sensitive transactions, and above all, protect it and keep it safe.

Connect your smartphone to the University network via Eduroam

The University of St Andrews data network can be accessed from compatible wireless-enabled devices by way of eduroam.

Click here to get instructions on how to connect your smartphone via eduroam

Eduroam (EDUcation ROAMing) is the roaming infrastructure used by the international research and education community that provides the eduroam user experience. 

More information on the eduroam services is available from the eduroam web site (external link)

University-owned mobile telephone numbers

When you are assigned a mobile phone by the University of St Andrews you do not own the handset or mobile number.  If you subsequently leave the University you must return the handset and number to the University for re-allocation or disposal.  In some circumstance you may be allowed to purchase or otherwise take possession of the handset when you leave.  However, the University will retain ownership of the mobile number, and you will not be allowed to take it with you.

Similarly, if you bring your own mobile phone to the University, and the University agrees to take responsibility for paying line rental, calls, and data usage costs, the number will be assumed to be University-owned, and therefore you will not be allowed to take it with you when you leave the University.  The handset will remain your property.

Example of University Business mobile

Apple OS device

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