Today we are going to explain how to protect personal data if your smartphone is lost or stolen. Because we are in the midst of summer and we are taking our mobile devices everywhere. Our phones have our most important data today such as bank accounts, business emails, etc. We have to make sure everything is safe even if we lose our phone somehow.
How to protect personal data if your smartphone is lost or stolen?
Protect your device beforehand
In addition, the general measures that we must take into account on any electronic device against theft are obvious. We should especially be careful when hanging around through airports, train stations, restaurants, hotels, and in general crowded public.
These days, smartphones deserve special protection. You should be definitely taking these measures we list below:
- Use a PIN code for the SIM card.
- Lock the screen with a strong password and biometric systems. You can use fingerprint sensors or facial recognition.
- Use full disk encryption to protect information.
- Keep backup copies of all personal data.
- Use password protection on critical applications.
- Enable the “Find My Device” feature.
What if you lost your phone?
If you have followed the guidelines above at least the management to protect the data will be easier. Use the features called “Find my device” on Android or “Find my iPhone” on iOS to identify the phone as lost and the device screen displays a message with the number of a friend or relative so, in case it is not theft and someone honest finds the device can contact you.
If after a reasonable time (or as much time as you deem necessary) you do not recover the device, remotely erase all the information on the device and contact your internet service operator to block the SIM card of the device. Finally, you will need to purchase a new device and restore the data from the backup.
What is the worst-case scenario?
If you are aware that your phone is stolen and you have not taken any measures follow these steps:
- Block the SIM and IMEI. This is the first action to take. Call your operator, explain the situation and block the SIM card. In some countries, in addition to blocking the SIM card, you can add the stolen phone’s identification number (IMEI) to the phone company’s blocking list.
- Lock the smartphone. From a secure device, access your Google or Apple account, lock the device, and consider the option to delete all of your data remotely.
- Warn your family and friends. Warn your contacts of the situation and the possibility that they may receive calls or messages from someone pretending to be you. They should ignore them completely.
- Block financial information. If you have credit/debit cards associated with services you use on your smartphone, you should unlink them as soon as possible.
- Passwords. Third parties can get your passwords. You will have to change the passwords of all the applications and services you use on your smartphone to avoid security risks.
- Report to police. You should file a police report. Not only for the possibility of recovering the device later, but also to safeguard you from any action that may have been carried out with it.