PSA: Secure Your Mobile Devices

Think about all the data you have on your phone. These days, that’s more than just a list of phone numbers. We have email accounts, social networking profiles, mobile banking, private notes and documents, and so much more. If our phones were lost and consequently found by someone with less than honest intentions, the list of potentially compromised information would be daunting.

But just how bad could losing your phone be? Symantec recently decided to find out. They intentionally “lost” 50 Android smartphones across various large cities in the US and Canada. Each device was loaded with what appeared to be private data and fitted with special software that allowed Symantec to track what happened. The results? Well, they’re not promising.

Over 95% of the time, those who found the lost device made an attempt to access data such as email or online banking information. 

Let that sink in for a minute. Based on the results of this study, it is safe to assume that if you lose your phone, someone will be poking through all your private and personal data. On a slightly happier note, some sort of attempt was made to return the phone about half the time. But even in those cases most people went snooping around first. Some even directly admitted to doing so, apologizing after the fact. Check out the full report here [PDF].

The moral of the story? Ensure your data is secure! Whether this is through a passcode or gesture based lock, remote wipe capabilities, encrypted data, private records (in the case of DejaOffice), or some combination of these. Your phone simply contains too much personal data to remain unsecured in some way.

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