Identity Theft & Credit Management (Vol. 2)
Identity Theft & Credit Management (Vol. 2)

Mobile Devices & Identity Theft

Maybe you’re thinking – but I don’t have anything on my phone that criminals could want. But do you really know what criminals want? It’s not money – it is information. And in today’s world of banking apps, digital currencies and electronic communications, they’re not going to find that information in your wallet but they are going to find it via our phones.

According to an American report, 1.4 million phones were lost in 2013 while 3.1 million phones were stolen. In Canada, there is good news. Since September 30, 2013, all GSM, HSPA, and LTE devices reported lost or stolen to a Canadian service provider have been blocked from all Canadian networks. By recording the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number from the device, the Canadian blacklist ensures that it cannot be activated by a carrier for use. But even before having to resort to the blacklist, there are 
simple steps you can take to protect the information on your mobile device:

1)      Updates: Smartphones need to be updated when security fixes are developed. Being notified of an update can be annoying but there is a reason for them. Some updates are merely for functionality but some are to fix critical security vulnerabilities that can end up being more of an annoyance than the few minutes an update can take.

2)      Security software for your mobile device is a necessity. I think we can all safely say that installing virus protection on our computers and laptops is a no brainer. But how many of us have security software installed on our mobile devices? In honour of Data Privacy Day, treat yourself to mobile security software – it’s the gift that will keep on giving.

3)      Have a unique and secure PIN. This is the ultimate security secret that so many of us seem to forget. It should have us all going “Duh!”. Passwords and PINs remain one of the easiest ways for you to secure your devices, accounts, and personal information from fraud.

4)      Think before you click, open, or download anything. Just like on your computer, be very weary of where each link is going to take you should you choose to click on it. If you’re unsure, don’t click.

5)      Understand the terms of use. Did you hear about that new app guaranteed to help make you more productive/ healthy/ sane? Before you download it on your phone, make sure you read through all of the fine print in the application’s privacy policy and terms of use. Does that game you downloaded to clear your brain between meetings at work really need to access your camera?

6)      Surf safely. It can be so tempting to tap into free public Wi-Fi and save money and data but even if something is free it can still come with a cost. In this case, the cost is your personal information and if you do not have the proper safeguards put in place to protect your phone, you may be at risk.

7)      Backup your phone’s information. Don’t risk losing all of the information on your phone should it become lost, stolen or damaged. Save photos and videos, contacts and emails regularly.

To learn more about Data Privacy Day and the steps we can take year round towards privacy awareness and the protection of personal information, visit https://safestayonline.org .

Horizons Guard can help you avoid being a victim of identity theft. For just pennies per day, you can be secure that your good name is being protected. Sign up now. Tomorrow may be too late. 

Go to the link below and enter:
Agent Name: Steven D. Haney      Agent Code: 326812088

 https://idalerts.collinsontech.com/register/en/financial_horizons



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