Why You Should Delete Old Apps and Files

We store everything in our phones–saved media, files, and data stored inside apps. While this makes it convenient to document our life on social media or quickly retrieve a class file, it can also slow down your iPhone or Android device.

Even worse: A phone with tons of data and images stored on it is the holy grail for cybercriminals, who can hack into it and ransom your photos and personal information (like credit card numbers stored in an app) back to you. They can steal your identity and go shopping with your credit card or PayPal balance. They can decide to sell your data on the dark web. Whatever they do will severely disrupt your life. In addition to making sure you
use a strong password on your phone, it’s a good idea to delete any apps from your phone that are obsolete for your life now.

Your device will also run faster if unused apps and files are deleted. Most phones will list when you last visited each app. Did you download an app for a class or for a trip taken last year? If you don’t need it, delete it! Also, relocate content from your phone to an external storage service. Did you know that faculty, students, and staff get 5TB of OneDrive storage? Take advantage of this highly secure free cloud service today! Contact the UFIT Help Desk if you need assistance using OneDrive.

Protecting Your Smartphone

Mobile malware is malicious software that targets mobile devices. Widespread ownership and constant daily usage of smartphones make them an ideal target for cybercriminals trying to steal personal information, money, or gain control of a device. Zimperium’s 2023 Global Mobile Threat Report notes a 53% increase in malware affecting cellphones in 2022.

Vulnerabilities in the operating system and activities such as rooting or jailbreaking are the most common means for getting a malware infection. Never jailbreak or root your phone, because the device’s built-in security controls will be disabled. And do not download third-party apps from outside official Apple and Android stores because they are not vetted for malicious content.

Stay cyber-aware, Gators! Did you know anti-malware software is available for most smartphones? Spend 20 minutes to better protect your phone – along with your money and personal information – by reviewing these webpages:

1. Visit UFIT’s ‘protect my mobile device page’ and learn about enabling encryption, turning on automatic updates, and more.
2. Use the Security Checkup feature in DUO’s mobile app to review your phone’s security settings.

Identifying Deepfake Videos

Misleading content online becomes more sophisticated with each technology advancement. One type of “fake news” becoming more prominent across all social channels is the deepfake, a video that’s been modified to make the subject appear to be doing or saying something they did not.

Deepfake videos are made to fool viewers for a variety of reasons including political agendas, financial gain, to embarrass someone or a group, or to use for blackmail. Public figures can be made to say things they never said, inciting viewers or followers to think a certain way and take action based on misinformation. A viral deepfake video supposedly of Tom Cruise has more than a million views. Here’s a breakdown by the video’s creator on how he utilized AI to construct the video: DeepTomCruise TikTok Breakdown.

It is possible to identify some deepfake videos by noticing changes in skin tone, jerky facial movements, or lip movements that do not match dialogue. But as the technology improves these clues could become even harder to spot. If you have concerns about the authenticity of a video purporting to be from UF, please contact the department posting the video or send your concern to the UFIT Help Desk.

Campus Physical Security Enhanced by UFIT

In addition to the security of UF systems and data, UFIT also works with campus physical security leaders to help keep campus safe for students, employees, and visitors.

UFIT’s Data Center Operations and Logistics Manager John Toner was recently recognized by the UF Police Department (UFPD) for his efforts to improve the security of the university’s East Campus. The project, led by UFPD, included determining where additional lights were needed, fixing gates, and removing debris. With his extensive knowledge of East Campus activities, John’s expertise expedited the project.

Another recent security enhancement utilizing UFIT expertise are the additional phones installed along fraternity row. This project, requested by UF Student Government, was undertaken with the Division of Business Affairs. Led by UFIT Project Manager Rob Snively, the work consisted of upgrading the telecomm system, including mass notification speakers that broadcast emergency messages, and installation of security camera mounts. More information about this project is available on the Business Affairs news website.

UF’s Cyber Security Framework Program

UF’s Information Security Office, in partnership with the Office of Internal Audit and Office of Compliance and Ethics Program, introduced the Cyber Security Framework Program (UFCSF) on July 1. Planned and implemented in response to an audit sponsored by Florida’s Board of Governors, the Cyber Security Framework Program heightens UF’s ability to identify, protect, detect, respond, and ultimately recover from cybersecurity incidents.

The Cyber Security Framework program will provide a high-level view of the operational maturity of units across campus, which are then rolled up into a university-wide maturity rating. This information collected will be used to:

Develop a unified view of the university’s information security environment
Discover gaps in enterprise cybersecurity processes and technology
Create university-wide solutions that reduce risk and increase cybersecurity maturity

The UFCSF program is modeled on the National Institute of Standards and Technology cybersecurity framework and tailored for the university’s OneIT model. Surveys are now being sent quarterly to UF’s 16 colleges and administrative units to evaluate their current processes for protecting computing assets and data, and for assessing risk. More information on the UF’s Cyber Security Framework program is online. Anyone with questions may email the UFCSF program team.