I don’t know about you, but I use my smartphone for everything – texting, emailing and calling friends and family; scheduling appointments; banking online; getting directions; even buying pizza! I’d be lost without it, but losing your smartphone or having it stolen is more than just an inconvenience. It is an opportunity to have your identity stolen. Here are some ways you can protect yourself, courtesy of the Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit dedicated to helping consumers protect themselves against identity theft.
- Password protect your phone. Use a strong password not associated with personal information (e.g., birthdate, child’s name, etc.)
- Install anti-virus, malware and security software on your phone, and keep it updated.
- Use the same precautions with your smartphone that you would with your home computer.
- Don’t visit suspicious links or give out any billing or other personal information unless you’re on a secure site (see #8).
- Read the fine print before installing apps.
- Install a “phone finder” app to locate your phone if it is lost or stolen.
- When using public WiFi, limit your activities. If possible, avoid purchasing items or accessing your email when on public WiFi.
- If making a purchase on your smartphone, only do so with a secure site (noted with https:// before the URL).
- Sign up for a backup or wiping program to back-up your smartphone to your home computer. You may also be able to remotely “wipe” your smartphone if it is lost or stolen.
- Avoid using “jail break” apps or a “jail broken” phone, which means the phone’s operating system has been compromised to accommodate one or more apps.
For advice on what to do if your phone is lost or stolen, visit ITRC online. As always, if you have a question, feedback or story to share, I’d love to talk to you! Just buzz me an email or give me a call. I’m here to help.
From chaos to calm,
*Source: Smartphone Safety