Protect Yourself In Case Of Phone Theft

Cell phones used to be little more than a call mechanism and a few buttons. They could not store much information beyond a few phone numbers. These days they are getting to be more and more like computers. Even the most basic cell phone has contact lists, personal information and pictures stored on it. Smartphones may have passwords, personal information, bank information and who knows what else you don’t want stolen. A thief can pick up your phone, steal your information for later use, wipe the device and sell it for profit.

cellphone flirting Stolen Personal Data

When you leave your phone at work or at a friend’s house, it’s an incredibly stressful situation. Having your phone stolen is another thing entirely. A thief can access all sorts of personal information if your phone is unsecured. Sometimes even the basic phone security is not enough to stop a dedicated thief.

What sort of information is stored on your phone? Think about how you use it. Have you stored personal notes, addresses or passwords? If you use your smartphone for banking, you might have your username and password logged somewhere. You will probably have an email address listed somewhere as well, complete with stored password.

Even a fraction of this information can lead to identity theft. You might find your email has been hijacked, your bank has been accessed or your number sold to a telemarketer.

Stolen Photos

Trying to find a phone that doesn’t have a built-in camera today is an exercise in futility. Many of today’s smartphones have better cameras than the high-end digital cameras from last decade. Technology continues to improve, cameras are everywhere and the average person is constantly snapping photos or short video clips. What sort of pictures would you lose if a thief stole your phone? Are there pictures of your friends in your contacts? Will you lose memories of birthday parties or special events? Do you have photos of a more adult, personal nature you would never share with the world?

Think about what a thief could do with your pictures. Even just keeping them for their own use is slimy enough. A malicious thief could share your questionable photos with contacts. They can impersonate you with your phone and do untold damage to your personal relationships.

Contact Abuse

Even if you are not concerned about losing your phone, what about the people you have listed as contacts? A thief can access your address book and steal the phone numbers of everyone you have stored. Maybe they would never use that information. Maybe they will sell your contacts or harass your friends. Enterprising thieves might even try to contact your friends to hold your phone at ransom.

Preventing Theft and Abuse

Keeping your phone secure at all times is the best way to avoid having it stolen. Never leave your phone where you can’t see it. If you’re using a smartphone, it is a great idea to install some of the many security apps available.

Set your security pin. Every smartphone comes with certain basic security precautions, but many users tend to avoid them because of the hassle they represent. Adding a security pin can go a long way towards keeping your personal information out of the hands of thieves.

Another app you can install is a GPS tracking app. These apps will help you find your phone when you lose it, but they will also help the police find your phone if it has been stolen. Law enforcement has a hard time tracking specific devices without such assistance, so it is much better to provide any help you can.

Investigate the security precautions your smartphone manufacturer provides. Many companies will provide a method you can use to lock or wipe your phone remotely. This will prevent anyone from using your phone until you can manually unlock it. If you choose to wipe it, your contacts and information will be cleaned out, so the thief cannot steal anything. You can always restore backups later if your phone is recovered, assuming you keep such backups.

Finally, consider your browsing and usage habits. Just like with a computer, practice safe browsing habits when you use apps or the Internet with your phone. Never store passwords. Always clear your Internet history on a regular basis. Limit the number of pictures and videos you store and move them to your computer regularly. You avoid losing your data and protect yourself from theft.

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