These days most people are using their phones for everything. They are little computers and we are increasingly keeping all our personal and important data stored on them. This practice is now making our smart phones more susceptible to privacy breaches and putting all our private information at risk. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), more than half of all Americans have smart phones and more than 20 percent have been victims of mobile cybercrime. In DC, New York and other major cities, roughly 40 percent of all robberies now involve cell phones, endangering both the physical safety of victims and the safety of the personal information on stolen devices.
Even if this is not your first smartphone, you will want to follow these 10 great safety tips from the FCC:
- Set PINs and Passwords
- Do not modify or alter your smartphone’s security settings
- Back up and secure your data
- Install apps ONLY from trusted sources
- Understand application (app) permissions before accepting them
- Install security apps that enable remote location and wiping
- Accept updates and patches to your smartphone’s software
- Turn off Bluetooth and NFC (near field communication) when not in use
- Be smart on open Wi-Fi networks; take extra care to secure your data
- Report a stolen smartphone to your wireless provider and to local law enforcement
Your homeowner policy may cover a lost or stolen smartphone, but the deductible could be higher than the value of the phone. Various cell phone companies will offer an extended warranty program that covers loss or theft. You can check with your provider for additional information, or call your agent here at Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge. We’re ready to answer any questions you have.