Consumer Watch: Prevent a data breach after losing a cellphone

There are ways to protect yourself from a data breach if your phone is ever lost or stolen (KOKH).

Most of us know the cold sweat panic of losing, or even just thinking we lost, our cellphones. Losing a cellphone is a common and potentially expensive problem, but it's about more than just replacing an electronic device. The cost of the technology isn't as scary as what could happen if your identity is compromised after you lose it.

Some stats estimate there are 70-million smart phones are lost, or stolen each year. Not all the phones are personal, some people are also losing their company issue phones. This opens up the possibility of a different type of data breach.

“The statistics are staggering, there is thousands, and thousands of phones that are lost or stolen every year,” says Dave Moore, IT Consultant.

Moore warns that users should avoid keeping sensitive information on a cellphone, but the reality is that many people do.

“The struggle is between convenience and safety, and we want everything so convenient that we forget the safety part of it,” says Moore.

Here are some tips to prevent a data breach or identity theft if your cellphone goes missing.

  1. Always have a passcode on your phone.
  2. Think of setting an alternate contact as you lock screen so people can get in touch with you if they find your phone.
  3. Activate the Find My Phone option available on both iPhone and Android devices.
  4. Have a kill switch available. If you think you will be unable to get your phone back, you can remotely clear it. This way, even if you don't get it back, your information will be safe.

The good news is that most phone are lost, not stolen, but you should report a lost or stolen phone to your carrier.

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