What would cause you more grief: your wallet being lost or stolen, or your mobile phone? I’ve read studies that showed that more people would be at a loss without their mobile device. This makes sense for a number of reasons. Your wallet itself might cost 20 bucks and the cards and IDs are free to under $50 to replace. If you have cash, well, that’s a direct loss.
But a mobile phone can cost as much as of $800 and has all your contacts and, in many cases, personal information and access to all your critical accounts such as banking and social media.
Bad guys are everywhere, and they are targeting your mobile devices to turn the information on them into cash and resell the hardware to the highest bidder.
Keep your device close
Criminals look for devices sitting on counters and tables in coffee shops, on park benches, on car consoles, sticking out of a pocket or purse, and they even steal them right from your hands as the phone is to your ear. Keep your mobile as discreet as possible and use an earbud when talking.
Lock it down with a password
Its simply irresponsible for anyone to not password protect his or her mobile devices. Thousands of devices are lost or stolen every day, and if the device isn’t password protected, then all the contacts, information and open apps can be taken over.
Use lock/locate/wipe software
Some operating systems come with software that, when the device is lost or stolen, the user can remotely lock the device, locate it with GPS and even wipe the data. There are also third-party programs that do the same thing and are often bundled with antivirus.
Install mobile security software
There was a day when PCs didn’t need antivirus; now there are millions of viruses targeting PCs. Mobile devices didn’t need antivirus either, but today there are thousands of viruses targeting mobiles.
Use a private VPN
Logging into public WiFi without any encryption puts all your information at risk. Install a wireless VPN such as Hotspot Shield. Hotspot Shield VPN is a great option that protects your entire web surfing session, securing your connection on both your home internet network and on public internet networks (both wired and wireless). Hotspot Shield’s internet security solution protects your identity by ensuring that all web transactions (shopping, filling out forms, downloads, etc.) are secured through HTTPS—the protected internet protocol.
Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.