Safeguarding your precious phone

Safeguarding your precious phone

Mobile phones are everywhere. The chances are you are reading this article via a web browser on the screen of your very own personal device. And you could be anywhere – in a train, in bed, or if you're fortunate enough, a sun-soaked beach!

This is the essence of the modern mobile phone. They provide all the traditional functionality that telecommunication has provided over the years – the ability to converse with friends, family or business colleagues – with a whole raft of mouth-watering extras. Your phone has long-evolved into so much more than a device for making phone calls. Now you can watch films, do bank transactions, maintain a daily calendar, store vast photo galleries, make music videos … The possibilities are limitless. But there is a downside to all this. Modern mobile phones are prized by opportunist thieves.

So what steps can you take to guard your previous device? You should always treat your phone with due respect. Don't place it on a work surface or by the sink in the office toilet – where you might inadvertently walk away and leave it. Never let an untrusted person borrow it.

One of the most basic tasks you should undertake is to password-protect your phone. You'd be surprised how many people don't bother to do this, yet it could prevent sensitive details – bank codes, confidential messages or personal information – getting into the wrong hands.

When unrecognised devices request a connection, don't just accept as a matter of course. There are genuine approaches but there is also spyware that can delve into your phone's innermost secrets. Never click on a hyperlink in an unrecognised text or email. This is how malware – malicious software - spreads

Because modern mobile phones have powerful storage capacity, many of us using them instead of physical photograph albums. But this is another reason why losing your phone can be catastrophic. Increasingly, today's devices offer virtual storage facilities. If you use iTunes you can access the iCloud to do this. You should look upon your phone in the same way you do any computer – and keep backing-up the content.

Cell-phones often come with a built-in GPS (global positioning system) or are GPS-enabled. This allows you, or those you have connected with, to keep track of the location. This is a strong deterrent for would-be phone snatchers. Here is where speed is of the essence. If your phone has gone missing, regardless of whether this was a result of pickpocketing or your own carelessness, you must report the loss as quickly as possible. Contact your provider to have your account suspended. You won't need to pay any further charges for a device you no longer own, and in the case of smart phones your service provider might be able to erase any sensitive information remotely.