Smartphones have made lives considerably easier. People can store the names of all their contacts, and search them quickly. They can also store music and other sensitive personal information including financial information in these devices and access them easily as and when needed, from anywhere. But what if the smartphone is lost, stolen, or misplaced? What if the data in it can be accessed by others? It is often seen that people, in general, take too many risks with their information, which can easily be avoided.
The following are the Top 5 risks people take with their phones:
- Store sensitive information on their mobile phones
Many people do not know what constitutes as sensitive data. Almost every bit of information related to the smartphone user can be termed as sensitive as hackers know how to utilize it for their gains. They can borrow from contacts, or use the bank passwords to withdraw money. They can use other information for even availing credit card loans. This is one good reason not to store sensitive information on mobile phones, and if it is necessary to do so, keep it all locked with difficult to crack passwords. Hackers can upload sensitive information on social media, and even morph pictures. So it is not the financial information only that needs to be protected here. Companies like Lexington Law post on their facebook page tips to keep your personal financial information safe. Their expertise can save you from credit card frauds. However, safeguarding the personal information is quite crucial.
- Use wrong tools and applications for accessing information
Browsers do include some protection from hacking, but it is not comprehensive security. Specific apps such as those of eBay and Amazon have their reputations at stake so they are likely to focus more on relevant securities. If people have a choice between browser and such apps, it would always be better to choose the apps for the higher level of protection that is offered to their transactions and information.
- Fail to use security features
There are ample security features that are provided by the browser. People fail to use them as needed, partly due to ignorance, and partly due to carelessness. For example, it is possible to disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Since identity and information thefts happen without others realizing it, people need to be extra cautious in using the safeguards available. It is possible for hackers to steal information from smartphones within a radius of 30 feet, provided Bluetooth connections and Wi-Fi connections are not closed. There are applications that enable people to wipe away all the information on their smartphones from a remote location. This feature can be used to remove personal information residing on a cell phone that is lost.
- Download free applications from unreliable sources
Not many people spare a thought while downloading any of the free applications. But embedded within such application or attached to such application can be a deadly virus that either corrupts or relays the information on the smartphone to another person. This is not to scare people off free applications. Instead, it is to tell people not to download them from any unreliable websites.
- Leave information in browser history
When the information is available, experts in retrieving information can easily trace back information and collect passwords. Therefore, it is necessary to purge information including that in browser’s history, especially when the user is shifting to another device and is selling or giving away the old one.
Amongst the many problems that arise when information is lost is theft of money. By periodically reviewing credit scores, it is possible to identify such hacking in time. Laws alone cannot help in such vast scenario, but smartphone users have to do their bit as well.