Have you ever lost your cell phone? USA Today reported in 2011, there was $30 billion in lost cell phones. The number has only increased over the last few years. This isn’t accounting for the cell phones that are blatantly stolen, either. In the past there has been a huge market for stolen cell phones in the US, but recent legislation has made it tough for people to have phones with bad SIM’s or phones that have been through a jail-break which hurts the black markets for stolen iPhones and other devices.
Dangers of Ignoring Password Protection
What if the wrong person gets a hold of your cell phone? Is your phone secure so that they won’t be able to access apps or stored info like credit cards, account numbers or other sensitive information? Most people will answer “no” to that question. The fact is – we lock our cars, we lock our homes, but when it comes to our cell phone, we leave it wide open with a Welcome sign. In a study conducted by Sophos, 70% of the respondents said that they didn’t use password protection on their phone.
When you lose a phone, you not only have to pay for a new phone, which can cost anywhere from $200-$300, but you also now have to cancel credit cards, change passwords on accounts and spend hours trying to restrict access to the apps that you have on your phone – if you remember which ones are on there. The good news is that 50% of lost phones are generally returned. For the other 50%, you need to worry about things like identity theft or credit card fraud.
The best way to secure phones is not to lose it in the first place. Keep your phone in your purse (instead of in a pocket or laying it down). For men attaching it with a clip may help them from sitting it down and forgetting about it. Unfortunately the more we use our phone out in public, the more chance you have of losing it. There are some things that you can do to prevent someone from stealing the information on your phone.
Guidelines to Secure your Cell Phone
1. Password protect your phone! Make sure that you have a password or if you are really tech savvy, you can even protect it with biometrics – like your voice or a finger print. If the person who finds the device can’t get into it, they may lose interest in it.
2. Use a cell phone tracking app to ensure that if your device is lost or stolen, you can wipe data. Or, you can even track a lost cell phone. If you are able to wipe applications from the device, it will be unnecessary to go back and change all of your passwords or block your credit cards.
3. Store your important items on the cloud instead of on your phone. You can easily change a password to your cloud access and since the information isn’t stored directly on the device, you don’t have to worry about the person who finds your phone being able to see your confidential information.
Take a few minutes to secure your cell phone today, you will be glad you did if it gets lost or stolen.
Terry James is a freelance writer and tech guru living in Brooklyn, NY. He contributes to the blog at Sniper Spy, a remote spy app packed with useful features.