Recently a family member lost their mobile phone. Unfortunately, some of the important settings on the phone were not configured, and as a result the phone could not be found. As a lesson from this exercise, we have developed these tips on how to protect the data on your mobile device from being lost or stolen.
If you do lose your device, you should report it to the police and mobile service provider. However, it is possible to find your device using “Find my iPhone” (as part of the iCloud – Find My iPhone, iPad, and Mac),“Find my Device” for Android or “Find my Device” in Windows provided you have this software setup as well as your mobile data and location services enabled.
There are several strategies for protecting your data:
- Record the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number of the device upon purchase. This is a unique number for each individual device and can be found inside under the battery. It can be displayed on screen by entering *#06#. If your device is lost stolen, this can be reported to your phone provider and police.
- Set a strong PIN or password on the device and configure encryption of data if this is available. Set this to automatically lock your phone after a set period, such as 30 seconds. This will enable your phone to be only to be unlocked by yourself or someone else who knows the PIN. You may also want a separate PIN for your voice mail.
- Use a reputable security product app, such as Norton Mobile Security. Mobile phones can be hacked just like any other computing device, so they need to be protected. Installing security software will enable you to use their features including app reputation (to determine if any apps are malicious or sending your data overseas) on your device, as well as wi-fi security and Web protection.
- Register the device with Google or Apple, and/or third-party manufacturers (eg. Samsung). As mentioned above, registering with these services to enable you to find, lock or erase your phone, in addition to finding your device in case it is lost
- Perform a regular backup to a cloud service. This provides you the ability to use their services to synchronise your data on a regular basis, and eases recovery if this is required. A cloud service may be available by the manufacturer on when you configure the device.
Further security tips can be found on the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association website (link opens in new window). If you need a hand to help protect your data on your smart devices, we can provide assistance to you via our Support solution.
If we can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact us.