Smartphones have only been with us for a short time, but figures reveal that almost half the UK’s population, over 30 million people, now own one. They are a popular target for thieves with over 300,000 being stolen each year. How can you keep your phone and your personal details safe and secure?
1. Basic Security Measures
Smartphones have become an essential part of modern living, for talking, texting, work and leisure. Social networking sites and internet shopping encourage us to enter our personal details, but how many of us are aware of the problems we’re likely to encounter if we’re unfortunate enough to have our phone stolen or hacked? There are some simple measures you can take to make sure you don’t become a statistic.
Common sense should tell you not to leave your phone unattended at any time in your car, on the table of a restaurant or bar, or in your bag. You should also think about your physical safety when using your phone in the street, when you are, in effect, advertising that you have an expensive piece of kit. Marking your postcode in ultra-violet pen on the battery and just inside the battery cover is a simple way to up your security too.
You should always enable the keypad lock with a PIN to prevent thieves being able to use your phone if they steal it. In addition, make sure you record your phone’s unique IMEI 15-digit number. This can usually be found under the battery, or you can dial #06# to retrieve it. If your phone is stolen, contact your service provider, give them your IMEI number and ask them to block it.
2. Technical Solutions
Do you regularly shop on your smartphone or use online banking accounts? If so, your personal details are at risk of being stolen by hackers and fraudsters. There is also the threat posed by malicious software, or malware, which can infiltrate your phone, just as it can do your PC and cause problems with both the operating system and unauthorised access to your personal details.
To minimise the risk of these threats you should install an anti-malware to block any attempts at malicious access. If an unfamiliar text or email does get through, do not click on any links or attachments. If you do you are potentially opening your phone up to spyware and viruses which can be used to conduct what’s called ‘silent activation’. This is where hackers access your phone and call premium numbers, running up huge bills. The first thing you’ll know about it is when you receive your statement from your provider. Getting your money refunded in these situations may be problematic. To prevent all this, use only official apps, provided by reputable companies and make sure you install anti-virus software.
In summary, use your common sense when it comes to safety and security the cheap option is only best when it comes to saving money on phone calls. Try a company such as planetphonecardsfor a great range of savings.
Shirley Jones writes regularly on technology for a range of mobile communications websites and blogs. Her primary focus is mobile phone security and how to save money on phone calls by using providers such by planetphonecards.com.