We have grown so dependent on having the world in the palm of our hands these days that most of us flinch at the mere idea of separation from our mobile devices. Board meetings and plane flights seem to last an eternity without our beloved Smartphones. The thought of losing an iPhone, even for an hour or two, causes most of us to react with horror.
Although the world might not exactly come to an end if you do misplace your Smartphone, the consequences could be quite dire. The ramifications of a lost or stolen phone run deeper than that momentary feeling of boredom when you cannot access your Twitter feed. You could actually end up with identity theft problems or with the real issue of having a stranger gain access to your personal pictures, emails, and records.
We offer a handy list of things to do (besides panic) if your phone ever goes missing.
Change Your Passwords
Although you may waste an hour or more looking for your phone, a thief might have stolen vital personal information, like bank passwords, or made online purchases using your phone. As soon as you realize that your Smartphone has gone missing, change the passwords on every account that you use on your phone. This includes Instagram, Facebook, email, Twitter, and online shopping sites, like Amazon or eBay.
Some online retailers offer handy mobile apps that make purchasing easy. These same programs can make unwanted purchases tempting for strangers who get their hands on your mobile devices. So be sure to change the passwords for all apps that can be accessed from your phone.
The best way to protect the valuable information on your phone is to swipe it. All Smartphones are capable of a remote disable function. Although these functions, and the platforms used to support them, vary by manufacturer and service provider, it is possible to put your important work and personal information out of reach from a person who may hold your phone in his/her hands.
It is important that you take the steps to enable a remote swipe before your phone is lost or stolen, so make sure that you are set up for this functionality for your particular device. Time is of the essence, though, since these capabilities do not work if your phone battery is dead or without a signal, and a thief may still unlock your information under these circumstances.
Location, Location, Location
After protecting your phone from unwanted hacks, your next step should be to attempt to find it. Smartphones come with a high price tag, so getting your device back is paramount. Also, you would probably still like to access all of that personal and professional information that you so desperately wanted to keep out of the hands of thieves and strangers. Setting up a way to find your phone requires the same steps that it takes to remote swipe it.
Call your service provider or visit the manufacturer website for your model of Smartphone and enable the app or program needed to find a lost device. These functions use GPS and sounds to alert you of your phone’s location.
This is a Guest Post by Nate Miller. Nate currently represents NQ Mobile a company safeguarding your mobile world. For more information about safety tips check out NQ Mobile anti virus software from nq.com.