A lost cell phone may contain personal information you may not want to see in the hands of strangers, much less mobile phone thieves. Even mobile phones that aren’t stolen can be a danger, since today’s mobile phones are essentially mini-computers, and as such are susceptible to viruses and hackers.
Those who use mobile phones for security may worry that losing a mobile phone means strangers can now watch — or even disarm and enter — one’s home or business with impunity.
But that’s not the case. Particularly if you remember the following simple security tips:
Lock Your Mobile Phone With A Password
A password won’t keep a phone from being lost or stolen, but all it takes is a password to keep the personal information in your phone secure in nearly all cases. (Some high-tech phones even use retinal or fingerprint logins.)
When using security services, there’s generally a second password as well, and as a rule brand name phone and security companies use military-level encryption to keep the password from being “hacked”. So take comfort. If the Taliban can’t break in, a local phone thief isn’t likely to.
Don’t Give Out Your Password
This should be obvious, but we all occasionally loan our phones to spouses or to our children to make a call. If so, open the phone yourself and then give it to them. Don’t give your password out. The more people know, even good and trustworthy people, the more likely someone will let it slip. Don’t say it out loud or write it down for others. Notes can pass through several hands, and if you hand your phone to a trusted friend over a coffee at Starbucks and casually mention the number, the person behind you may be listening — and may not be a trusted friend.
Download With Discretion
Mobile phone users nowadays can download email, pictures ring tones, screen savers, mp3s and even whole programs onto their mobile phone. That means that they’re downloading viruses too. Viruses are trying to break in all the time, so stay on top of your phone’s anti-virus software. Update it often, possible and scan your computer for viruses before connecting your phone regularly. Make it a frequent routine and you won’t be sorry.
Keep It Legal
Illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing is a part of life nowadays, but it’s still illegal and such downloads aren’t always what they seem. What you download into your computer could be laced with viruses that destroy your phone at best, and steal credit card and other important personal information at worst.
If you must access questionable sites, do it from one dedicated computer, and make sure it contains no important personal data, and also make sure it is never your mobile phone. Even better is to only download from legal sites. They may cost more money, but they cost far less losing your mobile phone to a virus, experiencing identity theft, or even facing criminal charges for illegal downloads.
Don’t Store Personal Information On Your Phone
If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, personal information that hasn’t been password-protected may be accessible to whoever has it.
But even if the information is not your phone, but only only on your server, there may be danger. Some mobile phone or cell phone providers store all the phone information they can on a main server. This can includes pictures, voice mails, personal information, pictures and more. Providers have had servers hacked in the past. But hackers can’t steal data that isn’t there. Keep your critical personal information off the phone and off the server.
Staying signed in to an email or bank account can save time and keep you from having to remember usernames and passwords. But it also makes it easy for thieves who casually grab your phone to immediately access your most sensitive accounts. Close your accounts, particularly if you step away from your mobile phone even for a moment.
Use Mobile Phones With Care — But Use Them
Careless mobile phone use can lead to compromised security. But not using it can compromise your safety even more. Nothing could be more of a mistake than to think that the safest way to avoid mobile phone crime is not to have one. That would take away your ability to watch your home, family or business 24/7, to be instantly alerted when break-ins or fires or medical problems arise, to make use of technologies that could mean the difference between life and death.
Using a mobile phone can greatly improve your lifestyle and your security, if you use it wisely. Let us help you use it with the care you deserve.