How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft if Your Phone is Lost or Stolen

Tech Tips

How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft if Your Phone is Lost or Stolen

We use our phones for everything. A lot of these activities involve sensitive information that can you store in our device, making it easy to update and share on the go. Based on a recent Asurion survey, most Americans use their phones for the following tasks:

Phone Use Chart 2

Having access to this information at your fingertips is great, but what would happen if it landed in the hands of a criminal? They’d have almost instant access to your private information with just a few clicks if your phone was ever lost or stolen- a reality faced by almost 50% of iPhone owners.

And it’s not just the obvious information that can put you at risk, like your credit card number or bank account information. If a thief can get into a shopping app you have on your phone, like Amazon or eBay, they can just as easily drain your bank account with an unwanted shopping spree.

There are some things you can do to protect yourself and your identity in the event your phone lands in the wrong hands:

1. Password protect your phone. This is your first line of defense if your phone is ever lost or stolen, yet only 50% of Americans do it.

2. Install a tracking app to locate your phone if it’s taken or misplaced. There are hundreds of options available in the app markets now, but it’s important to find one that not only identifies your phone’s location, but can also remotely lock the device and wipe your personal information if needed.

3. Back up your phone frequently. Half of Americans say they have information on their phone they’d consider irreplaceable, yet 43% never back it up. In the event your phone is unrecoverable, it’s important to have your contacts, pictures, videos, emails and data stored somewhere safe so you don’t lose that valuable information in addition to your device.