We use our cell phones for just about everything these days, whether it’s work or play, and our phones are getting more sophisticated as time goes on, allowing us to even monitor our homes via real-time video and audio links from where ever we are.
But what happens when our phones go missing or are stolen? To many, it means that a vital part of our lives goes missing as well. The more you use your smart phone, the bigger the loss can be should someone get hold of your device.
Indeed, your smart phone has much to do with not only your personal security, but the security of your home and family as well. So what are the best ways to protect it?
Changing Your Perception
Many say that it’s the perception of smart phones that needs to change. For example, instead of thinking of your device as just a phone, think of it more like a wallet. After all, your device is much like a wallet: it contains several important pieces of information that could result in much personal damage if it got into the wrong hands.
Think about it: your mobile phone may contain appointments on your calendar, contact names and numbers, login information for your bank accounts, and perhaps even network information that allows you to sign into your work computer from your device. What could an unscrupulous person do with all of that?
You can also think of your device as a computer, and apply the same security rules to your device. This means not blindly clicking on links, but ensuring everything you click is genuine before you visit any site. As well, it can also pay to ensure that anything sent to you is from someone you know.
Prevention Is Key
Before a theft or loss even occurs, there are many ways that you can prevent your phone from becoming compromised.
Among the most important mobile security measures you can take is to get some kind of app on your phone that’s been designed for its recovery in the event it becomes lost or is stolen. Phone recovery apps will employ a map that will allow you to track your missing phone. Some apps will also help you to find a device should you lose it in your home. Others will allow you to lock your phone remotely using a computer, as well as erase any personal data from your phone with the touch of a button.
Another way to protect your device pre-theft is to use a password. The more sophisticated a password is, the more difficult it will be for someone to gain access to the information contained on your device. But experts do warn that this has a downside. For example, should someone find your device and need access to it so they can find out who to return it to, a sophisticated password will prevent this.
What many device owners don’t know is that any public Wi-Fi connections they access using their phones can place them at great risk. Most public hotspots are not encrypted, meaning that any information traveling over them can easily be snatched by hackers. However, the information you transmit from your device over a public Wi-Fi network can be encrypted by installing a free app like Hotspot Shield VPN.
Updating the operating system on your device can also be a very effective means of protecting your device. Updates are issued in order to introduce tougher security measures and to patch any vulnerabilities in your phone’s operating system. But beware: alerts about device system updates are usually delivered via the settings of your device. And so if you receive an update alert via text, it may be an attempt to scam you.
Finally, recording your phone’s unique identifier number – whether it’s an ESN, IMEI or MEID – will allow law enforcement or your provider to track down your phone if it becomes lost or stolen.
Guest author Emma Prior writes on a variety of topics related to technology and the security industry. She recommends www.homesecuritysystemsgeek.com as a resource for security system reviews and information for consumers to educate themselves.
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