Mobile FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about laptops, tablets and smartphones


I just added my email account to my personal smartphone; now it's telling me I have to set a passcode. What if I don't want to set a passcode?

A lost device or stolen device can result in confidential university data, as well as your personal data, being compromised. The passcode requirement is a small step that the university is taking to minimize that risk. You will be required to set a passcode if you are downloading university email from your Exchange account. If you do not want to set a passcode on your device, simply remove the university email account and you will no longer be required to set a passcode.

What if I already have a passcode, or a stronger one (more than four digits)?

Security guidelines requires the use of a passcode. If you already have one, then you pass the security check that requires a passcode. You will not receive any prompts regarding passcodes on your device.

Can a drawing gesture be used in lieu of a passcode on an Android device?

A drawing gesture cannot be used in lieu of the four digit passcode on an Android device.

Will the passcode expire? Do I have to change the passcode periodically like I change my NetID?

The passcode does not expire. You will not be required to change it.

Do I have to unlock my phone to answer a call or to place a call?

You will be able to answer a call without unlocking the phone. You will have to unlock the phone to place a call.

What is Duo Multi-Factor Authentication?

Towson University uses Duo Multi-Factor Authentication to enhance the security of NetIDs and to prevent data breaches. Duo requires a second form of identification to help you securely login to systems that the university wants to strongly protect, such as university email. Visit to learn about Duo Multi-Factor Authentication and access links to Self-Help documents and videos to assist you with setting up your devices.

I've been told it is best to use the Outlook Mobile App instead of my native email, calendar and contacts app on my smartphone. Do I have to change?

Changing to the Outlook App is not mandatory, however, it is the only application that will support Duo Multi-Factor Authentication for Towson email. The free Outlook mobile app is available for Android and iOS devices through your device's App store. To get started, OTS Training offers self-help Outlook App resources on the Office 2016 webpage (scroll to the "Outlook" section), as well as an introductory video.

How can I protect my smartphone if it is ever lost or stolen?


When you purchase your new iPhone or iPad make sure you go into settings and set up Find My iPhone or Find My iPad. This will allow you to log into with your AppleID and see where your phone is on a map. You can also have the phone make a sound so you can locate it if it is close by. Visit Apple Support for instructions.


Navigate to your phone's settings and find the Security Section. Then look for Android Device Manager, older phones may have Device Administrators. Check the box next to "Allow Android Device Manager" to lock or erase lost device. Checking this box will let you remotely locate your phone using GPS, force it to ring for five minutes (particularly helpful if its just lost in your room, or if you left it in the back of a cab and want to get the cabbie's attention), and allow you to remotely lock the phone or erase all your data. Read these instructions on how to turn your device manager off.

How do I initiate a remote wipe? 


Go to and log in with your AppleID. Click find iPhone. All of your devices associated with that AppleID will be listed. Select the device, then click Erase iPhone. Additional information can be found in this Google Help article


Visit Log in with the Google account you use on your mobile device. Select your phone and you can remotely ring, lock, or erase a lost device. Detailed instructions can be found in this Google Help article.

Configuring Email, Contacts and Calendar

How do I add my Towson email, contacts and calendar to my smartphone or tablet?

University mail servers use Duo Multi-Factor Authentication as an added layer of security. See how to configure your mobile device for accessing your TU email, contacts and calendar.

My phone doesn't have one of the popular operating systems; can I still get email on my phone?

This depends on the device and whether or not it is internet ready, or has a web browser built in. There are three methods that you can try:

  • download the Outlook mobile app using your phone's store and follow instructions under Recommended Method above; 
  • follow the instructions under Alternative Method above; 
  • use the Office 365 Mail app at through the mobile device’s web browser.

Remember Towson University uses Duo Multi-Factor Authentication to enhance the security of NetIDs, so whether you use the app or the Web page, you will have to enroll your device to check your Towson email.

Purchasing and Repair

What breakage or damage is covered with university-owned devices?

University-owned smartphones are covered by warranty which includes all software and hardware related issues. Physical damage including cracked screens, water and fire damage are not covered. Other physical damage may or may not be covered and is at the discretion of Verizon Wireless. Battery issues, such as loss of charging capabilities, etc. are only covered in the first 30 days of device receipt.

Dell laptops purchased from our recommended hardware list come with 3 Year Limited Warranty and 3 Year CompleteCare Accidental Damage Protection. Mac laptops purchased from our recommended hardware list come with a 3 Year AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook/MacBook Air/13" MacBook Pro. Both Dell and Apple laptops come with Computrace (remote theft recovery software).

Can I enroll in a Towson University data plan for my personally-owned device?

All faculty and staff wishing to enroll in a university data plan must have the approval of both their department head and the Vice President of Administration and Finance. Faculty and staff should fill out the Cellular Request form in the OTS Form Repository, and have it signed and approved by their department head and the Vice President of Administration and Finance. Upon approval their personal line will be assumed by the university’s Verizon account.

Can I use my personal cell phone in lieu of an university-owned device?

Yes, upon approval from the department head, a miscellaneous expense form may be submitted for reimbursement of up to $30 per month on a personal cell phone. However, those wishing to use their personal devices on a more permanent basis are encouraged to fill out the Cellular Request Form located in the OTS Forms Repository in order to seek approval for their personal line to be assumed by the University as described Question 8 above.


Does the university provide any custom apps for faculty, staff, or students?

Yes. Currently, Towson University has custom apps available for your use. Visit the Mobile Apps page for a current listing. Or, go to your device's App Store, type Towson University and the list of apps will appear.

Is there a Blackboard app?

Yes. It is called the BlackBoard Mobile Learn App. Details available on the Mobile Apps page.


Are there any university guidelines about using consumer cloud storage?

The university has a secure and feature rich cloud-based way to store and share your university files. You really should use this. You may have used personal cloud storage in the past, which is fine for your stuff, but, when it comes to teaching, research, or other sensitive types of work, use OneDrive for Business. You have 1TB of storage to use--this is in addition to your H: and O: drives. OTS only supports OneDrive for Business. If you use anything else, you're totally on  your own including any data exposure you may experience.

Can I backup my Apple device using iCloud or iTunes?

Yes, backups using iCloud or iTunes are both supported by any Apple mobile device. Apple has instructions on backing up your device. We do not recommend backing up any university data using iCloud as outlined above.

Why won't OTS do more to help me with my personally-owned device?

We are always happy to help whenever you might have an issue connecting to a university service such as TU Wi-Fi, or email. Unfortunately, anything beyond connecting to university services poses the question of liability if something were to happen to the device. These issues are best left to the certified professionals within the manufacturer’s support system who deal with these devices on a daily basis, and can much better assist you with any issues you might be having.

Where can I get help or training?

  • OTS Training provides training on emerging technology such as social networking, and limited training for mobile devices such as the iPad. They have many courses throughout the year, and have a workshop calendar available for registration
  • The LinkedIn Learning online software training video library covers everything from using a Mac, to sharing photos with Instagram on your iPhone. 
  • The local Apple Store offers many "Getting Started" courses and workshops for iPhone and iPad. For assistance with your specific model device try your cellular provider's Web site, or drop by their store for help.