|Image Credit: Karpati Gabor|
Having a mobile phone is a lifeline for most of us, especially when it comes to work, so if it gets lost, stolen or damaged then you’ll not only have lost your phone, but important numbers and data. You can back up your information, but if you are not insured then you’ll also be liable for continuing to pay contract fees even though you no longer own the phone. Worse still, the growing use of smartphones opens you up to other, and more dangerous risks too. So read on to find out how to protect yourself from the costs of your mobile phone being lost, stolen, or hacked.
Mobile Phone Risks:
Despite the increased value of our phones, 63% of people have no mobile phone insurance* yet mobile phone theft has risen by 25% in recent years.* This is annoying and inconvenient, but the costs of having your phone stolen don’t stop there. Not only can a thief rack up hundreds of pounds of call costs, but because smartphones now hold virtually all of our personal data, a phone thief can also use your phone to find your personal information. This can enable them to get hold of your passwords, banking details, emails and photos, which can then be used to access your money or even to steal your identity.
To minimise the risks of having your phone stolen, you should always:
- Use your phone in a well-lit area at night.
- Never walk and text.
- Stay aware of who is around you when you’re talking on the phone.
- Take your phone everywhere with you, even when out with friends.
- Keep your phone and headphones hidden unless in actual use.
Smartphones are transforming the way we access information and communicate, but it’s important to remember they are mini-computers and so are vulnerable to cybercrime. Cybercrime through mobile devices is growing at a rapid rate, so you need to be on your guard. Malicious software can be used to harvest your data, so you should always be certain that any downloads or emails you open come from a legitimate source, as well as being vigilant about the websites you access on your mobile device. Dependent on your mobile insurance provider you may be covered for unauthorised call costs should your phone be stolen, but you won’t be protected against cybercrime unless your bank reimburses you.
So to minimise the danger of becoming a victim of cybercrime on your phone, you should always:
- Protect both your phone and sim with a password and pin.
- Use reputable apps and websites.
- Keep Bluetooth switched off unless you need it so that hackers cannot access it.
- Don’t open emails unless you’re certain they’re legitimate, and never reply with bank details.
- Always run updates for the latest security protection.
- Never click on links unless you’re sure of their source.
- Install Mobile Tracking and information wiping apps.
- Use a password encrypted network when accessing the internet through wi-fi.
- Delete all of your personal information if you decide to recycle your phone.
Rob Rudd is a writer and journalist. He enjoys writing for a variety of blogs from technology and gadgetry to finance and savings.