Smartphones and other mobile devices have made our lives easier in many ways. But, their allure and high resale value has also made them a prime target for thieves. While there’s no way to completely eliminate risk when owning one, there are ways you can protect yourself, your device and all the important data it contains.
Keeping Your Device Safe
When out and about, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. If an area feels unsafe it may be best not to use your device, or to use it discreetly. Never leave your device visible in an unattended vehicle. Take it with you or lock it in the glove compartment or trunk.
Write down your device’s make, model number, serial code and unique device identification number. This information can be given to the police in the event that your device is stolen.
Protecting Your Data
The first step in protecting your data is to establish a password to restrict access to your device. This can help prevent unwanted usage charges or use of your personal information if the device is stolen. Keep up-to-date with updates and patches to your devices’ operating system. These updates often include new protections when vulnerabilities in software arise. Also be sure to back up vital data to a trusted computer.
Installing anti-theft software on your phone can help in the event that it is lost or stolen as well. These apps are able to locate your device, lock your device remotely or even wipe sensitive data from your device using any computer. Legislation has been introduced in some states and nationally to require new smartphones to be sold with a preloaded “kill switch.”
In the Event of Theft
If your device is lost or stolen there are some steps you can take. First, change the login credentials to any online accounts you have access to through your mobile device. If your device is used to access Navigator Credit Union’s online or mobile banking you can visit https://navigatorcu.org to change your password. If you have installed anti-theft software on your device, you may be able to use it to locate your phone or wipe the data remotely. Do not attempt to retrieve a stolen phone yourself. Always report the theft to your local authorities as well as your wireless carrier. Finally, if you’ve purchased insurance on your mobile device find out what your plan covers in case a replacement is necessary.