How Safe Is Your Personal Data? 8 Tips To Protect Your Phone From Identity Fraud

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Some of us have lost our mobile phone or worse had it stolen.  Even if you backed it up, it is a nuisance restoring your data.

With more data now on your phone such as:-

* your personal e-mail address

* your contacts

* e-mail history

* sms history

* social media history

* pictures (some geo-tagged)

* notes which may include other personal data e.g. PPS number, credit card information and passwords

The list goes on and all this data is a treasure-chest for fraudsters who want to access your personal identity or gain access to your bank account and credit card.

A leading forensic team recently tested a range of mobile phones to determine what data they could retrieve.  They tested phones with PIN codes, more detailed complex passwords and biometric authentication. Also they tested phones that had been "reset to factory settings".  They used specific software tools and were allowed 30 minutes per phone.

They managed to access data from all the phones except those protected with biometric restrictions.

What can you do to better protect your phone?

  1. Biometric restrictions offer a very high protection level, so make use of them if your phone allows that.
  2. If your phone offers more complex passwords to the standard 4-digit number, use this option and vary the characters.
  3. Enable encryption if supported by your phone.
  4. Enable the "remote-wipe" function now so you can activate it when the phone gets lost or stolen.
  5. If your phone can't be wiped effectively, it should be stored safely or replaced by a one that can.
  6. Store a copy of the phone's IMEI and this can be used to prevent the phone re-connecting to the public network.
  7. Control the format and location of the back-ups, especially if the phone has corporate data.
  8. Be careful what Apps you download as some may be "mobile malware".

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Paul Leonard, Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. 

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