Teenagers and young adults are the most vulnerable population to credit card security breach, and this is commonly due to mobile theft. If you’re a teen or single adult, then you might not be aware of the dangers of losing a cell phone. What really happens and what dangers are involved.
When you lose a cell phone, you may only think of it as an inconvenience. You worry about getting a new phone or tracking all of your friends’ numbers again. However, the reality is losing a cell phone is more dangerous than it seems. With the advent of smartphones, your mobile phone has become a small computer. It contains just as much data but you don’t protect it as you would protect your laptop or personal computer. Imagine if your mobile falls in the hands of an id thief. You’d be at risk for identity theft due to a lost mobile phone.
Here are some of the ways your lost mobile can lead to personal information theft.
Storing Financial Information on Your Phone
Storing financial information on your mobile phone can be very dangerous if your phone gets stolen. Whoever gets a hand on your phone will have easy access to your financial accounts. Most mobile phones now have the capability to host applications that link your credit card accounts and bank accounts to your phone. Thus, when you save your log in credentials to your mobile, a thief can use the application to get all your account info. Then, the thief can use it to purchase resources or withdraw your actual money.
Sending Text Messages about Financial Info
Text messages can be read by anyone who has access to your phone. Teenagers and young adults are more comfortable in sharing their personal information through their phones. However, this is not a good practice. Make sure not to send sensitive information such as your bank account number, PINs, and Social Security number over a simple text message. A hacker or a thief can crack your phone and look up sensitive information from your message logs. If this happens, your financial information will become easily available to them.
Lack of Passwords
Based on a survey conducted in 2011, 70 percent of people who lost their mobile phones didn’t have any password protection. The lack of a password protection can easily allow anyone who gets a hold of your phone to seize data in it. If your mobile phone has a password and the thief couldn’t hack it, your information won’t get stolen. This means it is very important to use a password. This application or feature is readily available in most phones today. Thus maximize the security feature of your phone and create strong passwords.
What should you do?
Regardless of whether or not you have lost your mobile phone, it is important to regularly check your credit. Spot any discrepancies in remaining balances of your bank accounts. Monitor them for suspicious activities so that you can take timely intervention. Once you lose your money, it is very hard to get any restitution for it. So stay on top of your game by being vigilant, by protecting your mobile phone and monitoring your accounts.