What can happen to you if you lose your cell phone?

Profile Picture
By: Kedy
on 6th Dec,2013

Losing your cell phone, or having it stolen, is so stressful that you may not want to think about anything else.
What can happen to you if you lose your cell phone?

Losing your cell phone, or having it stolen, is so stressful that you may not want to think about anything else. Most people in today's society feel lost without their cell phones, and the first thought is usually related to getting it back or getting a new one. However, there is a very real danger to losing your phone that most people probably don't consider. You most likely feel lost without your cell phone because it holds your whole life. It is your contact book, your calendar, your computer, your music player, and much more. But, if you have a lost cell phone, someone else might gain access to your entire life.

Identity Theft via Cell Phone

To put it bluntly, having your cell phone stolen may ruin your credit. If you think about the amount of sensitive information most people keep stored on their phones, this does make sense. People save their passwords to their mobile banking apps, don't always have a password set on their phone, and even pull up statements and other private information. The smarter the phones become, the larger a security risk they pose for the owner. If your cell phone is lost or stolen, you’ll want to perform a credit check immediately. This will give you an idea if anything has happened on your accounts from information the thieves may have gotten off the phone. If nothing appears out of order, this report will be a good baseline with which to compare future reports. Also contact your credit card companies and your bank to let them know. Also contact the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to place a fraud alert on your credit report.

Consider Credit Monitoring

Once your phone has been lost or stolen, if you are one of those people who has your entire personal life in your phone, it might be beneficial to consider credit monitoring. These companies specialize in monitoring your credit report and then let you know if there is any suspicious activity that occurs with your accounts. These are usually paid services, but your reports are monitored daily, and you are notified right away of changes which may indicate identity theft, thus giving you time to stop the thief in their tracks before any significant damage is done.

Tips to Avoid Identity Theft if Your Phone is Stolen

The following tips will help you in case your phone is ever stolen.

Set your cell phone to lock after a period of inactivity. If you misplace your phone, this will make it harder for potential thieves to access your personal information. Be sure to protect your phone with a password. The harder your password, the better.

Turn off Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth when not in use to prevent hackers from accessing your phone's information. These hackers are rather adept at using Wi-Fi hotspots to hack into electronic devices. It's better to shut it down than to risk having your phone hacked.

Do not save your passwords in your phone app, especially financial passwords. Although having many different passwords gets confusing and overwhelming, do not be tempted by the ease of saving passwords. This just makes a criminal's life much easier, and you definitely don't want them to have easy access to your bank account. Try to memorize your password, or write it down and keep it in a safe place.

Be mindful of your surroundings when talking on your phone so you are not making yourself a target. Walking in a nearly empty parking lot at night is a good way to seem like a target. Criminals in these scenarios tend to sneak up and attack from behind. By keeping yourself aware, you reduce the risk of being taken by surprise and having your personal belongings taken.

Delete any financial data you no longer need. Do not store sensitive data on your phone. Storing sensitive information on your phone is unnecessarily taking up memory, and leaves you exposed if your phone is ever lost or stolen. Periodically check your phone for unneeded data and delete it.

As you can see, losing your phone can be even more stressful than you thought. It can be a hassle to get a new phone and try and track down all of your contacts, but it can also cost you your credit rating. If you have lost your phone, in addition to getting a new one, you will want to get a copy of your free credit report, and you may even want to consider credit monitoring. However, if you haven't lost your phone, it may be beneficial to take steps to secure any information you currently have stored on it. This way if you ever do lose your phone, you won't have to worry.

No votes yet

Page loaded in 1.120 seconds.