The Risks from a Lost or Stolen Mobile Device

Monday, August 13, 2012

Robert Siciliano

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Have you ever thought about what would happen if you lost your mobile phone?

These days we rely on our mobile phones more than ever. For a lot of us, it can also be a nightmare if it’s lost, stolen or hacked, especially since today it’s become our most personal computer,

But despite the fact that 1/2 of of us would rather lose our wallet than our mobile phone, only 4% of us have taken steps to protect our mobile device with security.

For most of us, our first reaction when we lose our wallet is I have to cancel my credits cards, get a new license, etc. When we lose our phones, we think about the pain and cost of replacing the device. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We don’t realize that our photos, emails, text messages and our apps can be an open door for thieves into our personal information, privacy and financial accounts.

And the time to replace your smartphone and its contents can consume as much as 18 hours of your life.

Mobile devices are on the move, meaning they can more easily be lost or stolen and their screens and keyboards are easier targets for “over the shoulder” browsing.

Below is an infographic that shows why you should protect your smartphone and some tips to protect you and your device:

(click image to enlarge)

What Have You Got to Lose?

Take time to protect your mobile device. Here’s some tips to keep your mobile safe:

  • Never leave your phone unattended in a public place
  • Put a password on your mobile and set it to auto-lock after a certain period of time
  • If you use online banking and shopping sites, always log out and don’t select the “remember me” function

Use mobile device protection that provides anti-theft which can backup and restore the information on your phone, as well as remotely locate it and wipe data in the case of loss or theft, as well as antivirus and web and app protection.

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)

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