Information Technology

Mobile Device Security Policy

A mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet that connects to the Amherst College email servers and other institutional data servers can be a substantial security risk for the College. To reduce the risk, the College has adopted the following policies.

  • Password Protection: All devices that connect to College services such as email and network storage must have a log-on password enabled that is at least four characters in length. The characters should not be repeating or in sequence (for example do not use 1111, 1234, etc.). 
    • Password use will be centrally managed by IT.
    • A device should be configured to lock after no more than fifteen minutes of inactivity, and the screen should be configured to go blank after no more than five minutes of inactivity.

  • Forgotten Passwords: If you forget your password for a College-owned device please call the IT Help Desk (413) 542-2526 to request a new password.

  • Sensitive Information: Mobile devices should not be used to store personally identifiable information (PII), other legally-protected types of data, or any other sensitive or proprietary information. (Note: Do not store such information in the Contacts, Calendar, or in folders in your Amherst email account, as it will be automatically transferred to your mobile device.)

  • Lost or Stolen College-owned Mobile Device: A lost or stolen mobile device must be reported immediately to Campus Police: (413) 542-2291. When so notified, IT will attempt to delete its data to prevent the compromise of College or personal data. IT will also contact the wireless service provider to deactivate the cellular voice capability to minimize responsibility for unauthorized use.

    Whether your device is personally or College-owned, we suggest that you subscribe to a tracking service such as Find My iPhone. Install the app and/or enable the setting on your device.  If the device is lost or stolen, go to the website for the tracking service (such as www.icloud.com ). There you can lock and wipe your device. For all lost or stolen devices, time is of the essence. Please be sure you notify Campus Police and attempt to wipe and lock your device yourself.

  • Disposal of College-owned Mobile Devices: All damaged, transferred, or retired mobile devices must be returned to IT.
    • IT will repair or replace a damaged unit, with cost to be borne by the employee's department.
    • IT will replace a lost unit, with cost to be borne by the employee's department.
    • IT will clear data from units when they are transferred or retired.