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What Everybody Ought to Know About Smartphone Safety


Find My iPhoneIt seems like everybody has some kind of smartphone in their pocket these days. However, are you aware of the risks that are posed when you’re using that ‘oh-so-useful’ device?

For instance, did you know that you could be giving away your exact location every time you post a photo? Any cyberstalker or thief online could be tracking your everyday movements. What would happen if your phone got stolen? Could you locate it if it simply went missing?

Step 1: Turn off Geo-Tags

If you have “geo-tags” enabled on your smartphone then every photo that you take has your location stored in it. When that photo gets uploaded to the world wide web, now anyone with a little bit of know-how can extract that location and pinpoint where you took that photo within 3 feet.

That means that if you took a photo in your living room, bedroom or bathroom and put it online then the data in that photo will tell anyone online exactly what corner of the house that particular room is in. Say you take some photos in your niece’s bedroom and put them online with geographical information embedded in them? Any stalker will know exactly where she sleeps at night.

Depending on the type of phone that you have, simply do a Google search for “how to turn of geo-tags for [insert smartphone type here, i.e. iPhone]” and you’ll be able to take care of that issue.

Next, what kind of information are you storing on your smartphone? Do you have bank account information? Credit card apps? Sensitive emails? Any and all of this information is a goldmine for thieves. Not to mention that several hundred dollars they can get for hocking your device on Craigslist. According to ProtectYourBubble.com, 113 smartphones get lost or stolen every minute. What could happen if your smartphone went missing?

Step 2: Lock your phone.

Think about what information you have on your smartphone and see if you can go without some of it. Perhaps you limit your online banking to your computer rather than having to be able to do it on the go.

Also, we recommend enabling a security measure in order to unlock your smartphone. Whether it’s a pattern, four-digit code or a password, use something that will keep thieves from being able to get into your data. At the very least it will slow them down so that you are able to get to a computer to locate or wipe your phone.

Which leads us to the last point, Step 3: Have a Tracking/Wiping App Installed

If you’re using an iPhone then the “Find My iPhone” feature is excellent. Should your smartphone ever go missing, get online as quickly as possible and go to iCloud.com to take your next steps. Make sure that you have this feature enabled in iCloud.

If you’re using an Android then we recommend using “Lookout Security & Antivirus.” It’s a very well-established and a credible way to remotely track and wipe your smartphone.

Take these few steps and you’ll ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping your data safe.

© 2016 Mark Seguin