How to Prevent Losing Your Smartphone and Protect Your Mobile Data

These days, smartphones play a vital role in the lives of many people. Given its functions, it is not surprising why there is a lot of personal information that is stored in these gadgets.
Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) together with its members which are composed of companies that develop operating systems, manufacture handsets and acts as multiple carriers have been trying to figure out the best approach to helping law enforcement agencies with issues regarding lost phones.

Most of these companies are committed to the Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment which gives these companies the needed flexibility to innovate the products that they manufacture to deter theft.

Various policy makers, officers in East Coast law enforcement agencies and the Federal Communications Commission are collaborating to create a system that will prevent the reactivation of stolen devices through the utilization of a 3G or 4G database. As more companies are dedicated to making this database grow, criminals would no longer have a market for the products that they stole.

An act aiming to deter criminals from stealing gadgets that have been passed by US Senator Charles Schumer and such act is known as the Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act could resolve this problem. This act calls for tough penalties to be imposed on criminals caught engaging in these acts.

Companies in the wireless industry have been constantly reminding consumers about apps that can be used to track and erase data from a remote location in case the gadget is stolen. This can be used to protect personal information which is contained in the device. Needless to say, much emphasis is placed on personal safety rather than on protecting the device.

What to do to protect smartphones while it is still with you

  1. Take note of your surroundings. You need to be aware of the kind of environment you are in. Never provide the thief with an opportunity to take your phone away when you are not paying attention.
  2. Add a phone lock. Choose a password or phone pattern that is not easy to guess as this will ensure that the thief won’t be able to open your phone right away. Change it constantly in case someone is keeping a close eye on you.
  3. Install apps that could help you delete information or track your phone. There are different apps for smartphones with different operating systems that could possibly help you by tracking your phone when it is lost or automatically deleting personal information that could be used against you.
  4. Make a backup. If there is important information on your phone, be sure to save it somewhere else too such as a USB or a cloud drive.
  5. Insure your device. Another option that is open to you is to insure your device so you would be able to get something in case it is stolen from you. Your handset provider or a third party could insure the phone for you.

When your device has already been stolen

  1. You should report it right away. When your smartphone has been stolen, you need to make sure that the authorities are already aware of it. If it is a postpaid account, make sure that you have given the notice to your service provider so that they can cut off the service right away and the thief will not have any opportunity to make charges to your account.
  2. Locate your phone. If your phone has been stolen, it makes sense if you want to know where it currently is. But this does not mean that you would have to put yourself in peril. In no way should you attempt to recover your device on your own as you might be in danger.
  3. Wipe personal and financial data. If you have already installed apps on your phone, you would want to use it to delete any information specially the ones which are personal and financial by nature.
Thao Nyugen
As editor in chief, Thao Nguyen is responsible for the editorial direction, media platforms, and business strategy of Technology Review.