Many people become victims of identity theft when their smartphones are stolen and the thief is able to access personal information stored on the phone such as credit card numbers. Although many people are aware of the importance of having strong passwords and security software on their computers and laptops, they often neglect to bring these same security measures to their mobile devices. More than 1.5 million smartphones were stolen last year and many people lost not only their phones but their identities when they did not properly protect their phones. Apple has had for a long time a feature on the iPhone called “Find My iPhone” which allowed people to locate their phone on a map and remotely lock the phone and delete data. Unfortunately, knowledgeable identity thieves were able to turn off this feature and make it inoperative. Now Apple has announced a new feature providing even better protection for your iPhone. This new feature is an activation lock that will make the phone inoperable if someone attempts to disable the “Find My iPhone” feature without first providing a password.
Regardless of what kind of a smartphone you have, you should make sure that you protect it with a complex password and security software and anti-malware software that is regularly updated. Use an encryption program to further protect yourself when using your smartphone and transmitting data. Also, do not store personal information on your smartphone that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft. For more tips on smartphone security check out my book “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age.”