Have you ever had your cell phone lost or stolen? If so, you’re not alone. Each year at least 100,000 Australian cell phones are reported lost or stolen – which translates into someone losing possession of their cell phone every 6 minutes. By the time you’re finished reading this, someone else will have their cell phone lost or stolen.
These situations demonstrate the importance of cell phone security. No one wants their cell phone data in the hands of someone else. On your cell phone could be banking records, shopping information, work reports, or sentimental or personal media. If your cell phone isn’t secure, all this information can fall into the hands of someone who may use that information to your detriment.
While Australia is a world leader in instituting policies that help people whose data has been compromised with a policy to block phones within 36 hours of being reported lost or stolen, for many people this simply doesn’t go far enough. Your cell phone records and information can be compromised within minutes, meaning that by the time measures are taken to block your cell phone, it’s already too late.
However, this doesn’t have to happen to you. There are steps that you can take to ensure the security of your mobile data and protect your information from falling into the wrong hands. Here are five easy solutions to keeping your cell phone secure:
Password protect your phone and sim card
Putting a password or PIN code on your phone and sim card is the most important thing you can do to secure your mobile data. This quick and easy method will prevent most unauthorised persons who have physical access of your mobile from accessing the data within. By putting a password on both your phone and sim, you have a double layer of protection that will make it almost impossible for most unauthorised users to gain access to your sensitive information.
Install security software
Every single person with a cell phone should install trusted security software. Security software has a multitude of tools to keep your phone data safe, such as firewall and anti-trojan software. This security will make it far more difficult for those who utilize “soft” options such as wireless networks to gain access to your phone data. In addition, many mobile security software programmes come with find my phone features, making it easy to locate your phone in the event that you lose possession of it.
Be careful when using unsecure networks
When connecting to unsecure or unencrypted networks, it is important to be careful with your activity and what networks you are connecting to. On an unsecured network, your mobile device may be left exposed as other users may be able to easily access your data through the network. This is doubly dangerous if you are sending or receiving sensitive information or undertaking important tasks such as online shopping or banking, as your credit card data and other information may be easily accessed. Ignore the urge to connect to unsecured networks unless necessary and take care as to what activity you undertake when on these networks.
Delete/be careful what data is on your phone
Be careful what sensitive information is stored on your phone. Even with your best efforts and top notch security, it is always possible that someone gains access to your mobile device. As a result, you may want to reconsider keeping important or sensitive data on your cell phone. Delete banking and shopping information data such as saved passwords and auto fill information that could leave you open to identity theft. Delete sensitive pictures or information that could be embarrassing or put you in compromising situations.
Backing up valuable data is also an important security tactic. Mobile data being compromised by others is only one part of the security issue – it’s important that you have reliable access to important information as well. A compromised phone may need to be reset, meaning that all your data could be lost. Set your phone to sync important information, or use cloud based services to ensure that important documents or information won’t be lost in case of malfunctioning equipment.
With the rise in popularity of mobile technology within the last few decades, a mobile phone is one of the most important pieces of technology you may own. It can serve as an office on the go, an impromptu photographer, or your online shopping centre. With all of these uses, it’s important to keep the information stored within safe. Follow these tips and you too will be able to sleep soundly knowing you’ve done all you can to secure your mobile phone.