By Jesse Oguntimehin
In the previous article on why you need to secure your mobile phone, I x-rayed the issues and mentioned why it is important that we take the issue of mobile phone security seriously. This is a follow up post.
From the interview I carried out, I found out that many people do not anticipate events that would require that their data will be exposed to a total stranger and in turn expose them to some risk. The few tech savvy ones who anticipate it take different security measures.
Tosin uses a Blackberry phone in Lagos. She stores CV, photocopies of her credentials, her account details and those of her family members, write ups and some company documents that can easily be accessed. She uses a password for her device. If stolen or misplaced, her documents are safe. After 10 trials the phone will wipe out all data in her phone.
Feyi is an iPhone user in London. When I asked him if he stores personal information on his mobile phone, this was his response; “I am afraid I do. I don’t think I should, but I do. I have valuable information in my Dropbox, which can be accessed from my phone. Perhaps someone can also obtain some valuable personal information by going through my texts.”
To secure his data, this is what he does: “I can remotely lock and block my iPhone within a few minutes using ‘Find My Phone’. I can also send constant annoying messages to the person to return it. As long as I am able to get to a PC I can block the phone from being accessed after it is lost or stolen.”
Dameon uses an iPhone and lives in the US. I asked him If he loses his phone today, are his information secure? If yes how did he secure them? His response: “Define secure. The phone has a PIN code on it, and may even be encrypted, but I’m not naive enough to believe it’s going to keep someone out of my phone once I’ve lost physical control over it.” He concluded that he is going to use ‘find my phone’ and wipe out every data available on his phone and then change all his passwords.
There is an option for every phone to enjoy some level of security, from dumb phones to features phones and smart phones. Depending on the phone you are using, you can use some of the procedures stated above, if you do not already have any security measures in place.
You can decide to:
- Use pin code to prevent access to your SIM card.
- Use device lock code to prevent access to the phone.
- Use software that can remotely find and wipe out any data stored on your phone like: Find my Phone, Blackberry protect, FSecure or any other one that you may use.
- Change your passwords. Some folks may be smart enough to pull some tricks. Whatever they do, they won’t have access to your log-ins once you change your passwords.
- Report the loss of your phone and call/visit your service provider to block access to your SIM card.
It is vital you take this matter seriously as a precautionary step. You never can tell when your phone will be lost or stolen. You don’t want your private and confidential information to be available to a total stranger. Once a total stranger has control over your device and have access to the information stored in them, you do not have control over what he/she will do with it.
Even when you do not lose your phone, there are means by which some individuals who write smart programs can have access to your smart mobile device and steal valuable information without your knowledge. In the next post, I will share with you how they can do that and how you can protect yourself.