How to Protect Your Phone, and Your Peace of Mind

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Holiday 2012 — Security News and Advice


If you’re like most people, you’ve probably become pretty attached to your mobile device and the thought of losing it – and the information it contains – can bring on a panic attack. Your contacts, photos, and other personal and even financial information could be gone in a second. This means pictures of your kids, appointments on your calendar, and important work information could all disappear. Consider this: 30 million phones are lost each year, and in the U.S. alone, 82,000 phones are lost every day!1

Making the matter worse, 32% of consumers back up their data just once a year, while 20% never back up their data at all!2 If your phone is lost or stolen, not only do you risk losing your information, but your device could land in the wrong hands, opening you up to identity theft.

With the holidays around the corner many of us will be traveling with our devices, so now is the perfect time to take a few steps toward mobile security, before it’s too late.

A good mobile security plan starts with the basics. Follow these simple tips to protect the information on your phone, in case it is ever lost.

  • Password protect your device—This is the simplest thing you can do to protect the information stored on your device. Not only does it keep strangers from accessing your data, but it may also discourage thieves from taking the device in the first place.
  • Regularly backup your data—Don’t be part of the 32% that only does backups once a year! Back up your data at least once a week, so you have electronic copies of all of your valuable information. This way, even if you lose your device, you won’t lose all of your data.
  • Don’t store your logins—Rather than having your apps and mobile browser remember your login information, type in your login credentials each time (especially for banking!). This way, if a stranger accesses your device they cannot log into your accounts as you.
  • “Mark” your device—To mark your device, take a screenshot of your emergency contact numbers and use it as your phone’s lock screen. If someone finds your device, it will be easy for him or her to return it to you.
  • Write down the serial number—Record your phone’s serial number and store it somewhere other than on your device. If you lose your phone and it eventually turns up, you will be able to identify it.
  • Install mobile security—Software such as McAfee® Mobile Security allows you to remotely locate, track and lock your device in the case of loss or theft. It can also help protect your phone against malware, bad apps and other mobile threats.

While the thought of losing your phone is never pleasant, if you take a few minutes now to protect your device and information you will feel a lot better when you're traveling or just living your digital life. To learn more about mobile security check out this great resource.

1 Bloomberg BusinessWeek (Sept. 2, 2010)
2 National Cyber security Alliance (2011)


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