The above headline is meant to be a bit of a wake up call really – mobile phones are a great source of personal data. Most of us keep lots of personal data on our mobile phones – all the phone numbers and email addresses of our friends and work colleagues, our engagements in our diaries, our personal emails and chats, and our movies, photos we’ve taken and music. In fact a survey of mobile phone users found out these interesting facts about mobile phone use.
Many of us keep photos – personal stuff on our phones too, and intimate conversations and emails we’d like to keep private. Mobile phones – particularly the latest smartphone like an iPhone are highly desirable items to have, this make them very attractive to thieves. My niece recently lost her phone when she left in her bag in her college library – she was only away for a few moments, but that was enough time for her phone to be stolen.
Once they are stolen they are usually sold on, and of course the thief has no regard for your data at all, your phone may be reset or worse your data and emails accessed an exploited. Many people use online banking via their smartphone and also keep their passwords on the phone too. Some of us password protect our phones, but many of us don’t. By not password protecting our phones we make it easy for anyone to access our data.
It’s a good idea to install an App on your phone that you can use to find out your phones location – very handy if it’s stolen or lost, but some of these Apps go further and allow you to remotely wipe the data on the phone, so if you have any personal information that you’d like to keep personal, you can instruct the App to wipe the data on your phone. Apps like “Find My Phone” (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fsp.android.phonetracker&hl=en) use a secure wipe feature which means that a data recovery or forensic investigations company or law agency won’t be able to retrieve the data from your phone either.