Remember the days when a cell phone simply had your telephone contact list and no other crucial information? Currently, it seems that everyone’s mobile phone has almost all of their personal information, from checking accounts to password reminders, placed squarely in a tiny electronic memory. But, similar to losing a purse, what would happen if you lost your phone? As smart-phones become more widespread, the possibility of losing your phone, and all of its pertinent data, can be catastrophic. If you are not careful to protect your device, a thief can easily find and steal your money from the bank and make instant purchases through the mobile applications, or apps. What can a person do to protect themselves?
Do Not Save Passwords
Many mobile phones allow you to surf the Internet; you can check your email and purchase necessary items through your device. However, most websites will ask you if you would like to save your password for future convenience and access to the specific account. A good rule of thumb is to never save passwords through your device; if lost, the thief can easily look through your email and spend your money on purchases through the saved password website. Although it is a hassle, you should have to enter your password each time you access the particular website.
Backup Your Data
Nothing is more frustrating than losing your cell phone with no backup data in your personal computer. Periodic data backups are crucial to ensure that most of your information is saved in a secure area. Back up your data either on a daily or weekly schedule; much like DVD duplication, if the phone is lost, you can easily load the information back onto a new device and carry on. As long as thieves cannot access your password through the old device, your information should be safe.
Mobile Protection Applications
Many smart-phone application engineers have designed apps that can track and wipe memory from a lost or stolen device. The phone’s owner simply needs to log in to their account on a regular computer; they can activate the GPS (Global Positioning System) embedded within the device and choose to remotely clear all the memory from the phone. If you have been regularly backing up the data on your home computer, this wipe will allow you to feel confident that your information is safe and can be added to a replacement device.
SEE ALSO: How to Create Secure Passwords.
You know that annoying choice on almost all mobile phones, called password protect? Use it. Although it may be cumbersome to type in your password each time you access the device, this simple beginning screen can thwart an attempt at hacking your information if the phone is stolen. Choose a password that you will remember, as well as making it difficult to crack, such as adding symbols and capital letters.
Do Not Enable International Calling
International calls can be placed quickly on a stolen phone, possibly before a victim knows that the phone is missing. As a result, you should always disable international calling and protect it with a password. Even a few calls placed on the phone can easily add up to hundreds of dollars.
Call Your Mobile Carrier
Notifying the carrier of your loss is a step that many people fail to perform after a phone becomes lost or stolen. The carrier can deactivate accounts and place the phone’s serial number on a lost or stolen list. Although it will probably never surface again, if the thief tries to sell it, the serial number will be flagged through the carrier’s database.