Smartphones are a great asset to your everyday life. It has all of your contacts, games and apps for personal information. You can use your smartphone to access your email, bank account, retail accounts and even work-related apps and information.
But smartphones are also very easily lost, and a lost smartphone can be very damaging to your identity. If your phone were to fall into the wrong hands, a person can easily access all of your personal information, especially since most people donâ??t require the use of usernames and passwords on their mobile apps. In fact, simply by having access to your email account a hacker can gain usernames and passwords to all of your other accounts and information, putting you at a very high risk of identity theft.
If you notice that your smartphone is missing, you need to act quickly and do the following.
Itâ??s very possible that you simply misplaced your phone, so youâ??ll want to call it as soon as you realize itâ??s missing. Listen for your phone to ring, and you may end up finding it. Itâ??s also possible that someone else found your phone and is holding onto it for you. By calling your phone, you could end up reaching the person who has your phone and finding a way to meet and retrieve your phone back.
Use the remote locate feature.
One of the best things you can do is to download a remote locate app, such as Find My iPhone. Of course, youâ??ll have to download it before your phone is lost, so make sure to do it right away. This way, if your phone is lost, you can use this app to locate your phone and find out where it is. Itâ??s possible it may be in your car, or you may be able to find out exactly where you left it.
Call your provider.
If your phone is truly lost and you canâ??t find it yourself, youâ??ll want to contact your carrier and have them put a temporary hold on your account. This way, the phone will not be able to be used by someone else, which can help you avoid massive phone bills. Plus, your carrier may be able to help you locate the phone, but itâ??s not guaranteed.
Change your passwords.
Make sure that you change your password for all of your personal accounts, including email, bank accounts, credit card accounts and anything else you may have. Even if you donâ??t have apps for these on your phone, if your email is set up, a hacker can easily gain access to all of your personal information and get into these accounts.
Contact the credit bureaus.
In order to truly protect your identity, youâ??ll want to contact the three major credit bureaus and put a freeze on your account. This way, if a hacker were to get access your information and try to use it to take out loans or open credit cards in your name, they will not be able to do so. Although some people think that this step is a bit overboard, it can keep you from succumbing to an awful identity nightmare.
Contact the police.
You should also file a police report about your phone being lost. This way, if your phone ends up in the wrong hands, the police report will be proof that the phone was stolen and that your identity had the potential to be compromised. This can be very beneficial to have in case you notice fraudulent activity occurring on your personal accounts.
Vesta Parker is a password specialist and writes in partnership with www.authentify.com. Authentify specializes in providing 2 factor authentication services at a global level.
Image from: chawalitpix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net