While the cell phone is an amazingly useful device, using it for banking -- and consumers are increasingly using mobile phones as banking tools -- can lead to identity theft and other financial crimes, if reasonable precautions aren't taken. Some of the tips to prevent yourself from mobile financial theft.
- Never store financial information on your cell phone -- logins, passwords, account numbers, Social Security numbers, etc. --not even in a mobile banking app.If you lose your phone, whoever finds it has immediate access to your account if your login credentials are stored. A thief can use the app and get your account info to withdraw your money.
- Never text message any financial information from your cell phone.Text messages are not secure modes of communication, and all of the texts that you send are logged in your phone. A hacker or thief could access your phone and the text message logs to easily find your financial information.
- Lock your phone or have a way to delete the information on your phone remotely. According to a survey last year by data security firm Sophos, 22 percent of respondents have lost their phones, while 70 percent didn't use password protection. Use a password.
- Check your accounts frequently for suspicious activity.Every few days, if not everyday, you should check on your money. Since you will be the one without the money and with scarce opportunity to get any restitution, it is important to be on top of the account to make sure that nothing unexpected is happening.
According to the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit mobile phones are stolen in around half of all street crime.
Here are a few basic steps you can take to reduce the risk of having your mobile phone, MPS player or any other item of valuable property stolen from you:
- Walking and texting at the same time can be dangerous, especially when crossing the road. You will be less aware of what is happening around you.
- When you get off a bus or leave a tube or train station, don't use your phone immediately, leave it a while.
- Take care when leaving school and in crowded places. Try to be aware of what's happening around you. Keep your mobile phone and other valuables out of sight.
- Many of the latest mobile phones have apps that can help you find your phone. Make sure you download these and have them on your phone as they are free. If your phone is stolen, tell the police about your app.
- Keep a record of your phone's IMEI number - just type *#06# (star, hash, 06, hash) into your phone and it will display a fifteen digit number. You can use this number to register your phone at www.mycellwasstolen.com You stand a very good chance of getting your phone back when stolen, particularly if the matter is reported to the police quickly.
Android: There's no shortage of lockscreens for Android, but Picture Password Lockscreen (inspired by a similar feature in Windows 8) may be one to end them all. The app replaces the traditional pattern or swipe-to-unlock screen with a static image, and requires you to draw symbols on a background image that you select in order to unlock your phone. You set the pattern, and only you know how to draw the symbols correctly.
The beauty of Picture Password is that it asks you to draw a dot, a line, and a circle anywhere on a background image before the phone will unlock. When you walk through the setup wizard, you draw those symbols anywhere on the screen you want, and the only way to unlock the phone is to draw them the way you did when you set up the phone. Even if someone watched you do it, they'd have a hard time duplicating the pattern, and there are no on-screen clues to help a stranger or thief unlock your device.
When you set up the app, you have the option to enter a backup PIN and set how many retries you get before you're prompted for it. We strongly recommend you do so, just in case. If you like the app, there's a "Plus Key" for $4 that adds the time to the lock screen, the ability to start the app on boot, and a few other features.
More At: http://www.xda-developers.com/android/secure-your-android-with-picture-password-lockscreen/
First contact your mobile service provider to block the SIM of your iPhone. Then check the bill of your iPhone to find out its IMEI number, and contact your nearest police station to report the lost iPhone with its IMEI number.
Use this police report (its is called FIR, or First Information Report in India) to contact your mobile service provider. They will first block this iPhone so that it becomes unusable for the person who found or stole it. It will not work even if they change the SIM. Then they will help you trace your iPhone using its IMEI number.
|Participate in the Cell Maven drive and win free insurance for 5 years on your mobile
The tongue-in-cheek comment by Megan Fox, about living in a world where losing your phone is more dramatic than losing your virginity, perfectly describes today's generation. We carry our world in our pockets, our smartphones pay our bills, help us socialize and connect us to the web.
content courtesy - http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/216420/smartphone_security_how_to_keep_your_handset_safe.html
Once upon a time, a phone was just a phone: It simply made and received calls. The only security you worried about was if someone had picked up in the other room to listen in.
Flash forward to 2011, and the line between phones and computers has all but vanished. In fact, your smartphone is likely more powerful and feature-rich than your desktop computer was just ten years ago.
With that increased utility, though, comes more vulnerability. Having a wealth of information--personal and otherwise--in your device makes your phone a target, and as the bad guys ramp up their efforts to infiltrate it, the good guys are gearing up their efforts to keep the bad guys out.
Does Smartphone Security Really Matter?
The short answer is yes, absolutely, more and more. The degree to which it matters, however, depends on the individual user, or the individual company.
Threats to your mobile security are not always easy to see. They range from the simple (such as when someone finds your phone and reads all of your e-mail) to the highly complex (such as Trojan horses, viruses, or third-party apps that share your personal information).
Here are some common security risks, with tips, tricks, and tools to combat them.
Don't Lose Your Phone
This may seem like a no-brainer, but don't put your phone down on a bar (especially if you work for Apple and have a prototype that no one is supposed to see). If you're in a public area, don't put it in a pocket or an open bag where it's visible and could be grabbed easily. Obvious suggestions, sure, but these kinds of on-the-street situations account for most cases of phone theft.
Your First Line of Defense
Set your phone to lock, or time out, after a certain period of inactivity, requiring a password to get back in. All of the major smartphone operating systems support this function.
You'll want your password to be something hard for you to forget and easy to type since you'll enter it frequently throughout the day, yet difficult for someone else to guess. Anything containing your name, information found on a driver's license, or a number as simple as "1234," for example, are not good passwords.
Here's how to find time-out settings on various smartphone OSs:
- Android: Previously, Android supported only pattern unlock (in which you draw a pattern to access the phone), but with version 2.2 of the OS, it now supports PINs and passwords. From the home screen, press Menu, Settings, Location & Security, and under Screen Unlock you'll find many options for setting passwords. To set the screen time-out, however, you must go back to the Settings menu and this time click Display. (Hint: If you decide to go with the pattern unlock, create a complex one that crosses over itself, or someone might deduce your pattern from the repeated smudge marks on your screen).
- BlackBerry: From the home screen click Options, Security Options, General Settings. There you'll see options to enable the password, set or change the password, and set the security time-out options.
- iOS: Earlier versions of iOS allow only for a four-digit PIN unlock code (which isn't ideal). Luckily iOS 4 introduced the option to set a longer password. Open the Settings app, and then select General, Passcode Lock. Just above Passcode Lock is the Auto-Lock option, which controls the time-out.
- Windows Phone 7: Open Settings, and then select Lock and Wallpaper. From there you can set or change the password, and also set the screen time-out.
Your Second Line of Defense
Remote wipe, plus the aforementioned password protection, is the bare minimum that most IT departments will require, although the specific steps you'll need to take very much depend on the level of security at your company.
Remote wipe means that if your phone is lost or stolen, you can remotely clear all of your data--including e-mail, contacts, texts, and documents--off of the handset, thus keeping that information out of the wrong hands.
You or your IT department can set this feature up for any of the major OSs, as well as use Microsoft Exchange to wipe the device (provided that you have an Exchange account). Those people without Exchange accounts or IT departments have other, simpler options.
- Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7: If your OS is among one of these, you're in luck, as you can find many fantastic third-party applications that allow you to remotely wipe your device. Lookout Mobile Security is just one example that not only enables you to wipe your device via the Web but also lets you track a lost device through GPS, back up your data over the air, and even scan for viruses. Its basic version is free, but to enable advanced features such as remote wipe you will have to pay for a Premium account ($3 a month or $30 a year). You'll encounter big players in the security-app game, too; for instance,NotifyMDM, Symantec, and Zenprise sell multiple-mobile-device management systems to companies.
- iOS: iPhone remote wipe is a bit trickier. If you have iOS 4.2 or higher, you can simply download the Find My Phone app from the App Store, and enable it in MobileMe in the Settings app. If you lose your phone, you can log in using MobileMe via Apple's Website to track it, display a message, or wipe it. If you have an older version of iOS, though, you'll need a paid MobileMe account, which costs a steep $99 a year. Plus, you'll have to enable the function by going to Settings, choosing Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and clicking Fetch New Data then Enable Push. Afterward, return to the 'Mail, Contacts, Calendar' screen and select your MobileMe account.
Note that all of the apps and services mentioned in this section, as well as other tools (such as Mobile Defense and Where's My Droid?), can help you find your phone via GPS. These apps have drawn attention lately, as their usage has led to the arrest of several thieves and carjackers.
Time to put the smart in smart phone!
With news updates of phone hacking scandals splashing headlines the world over, we’re hearing lots of cell phone security buzz – and for good reason too!
While a major news outlet may not be interested in your cell phone activities (or we sure hope not!), this is still a great time to make sure you are practicing some solid cell phone security practices.
Keep that cell phone close by!
You are far more likely to misplace / lose a cell phone than to get hacked, so be sure your little handheld buddy doesn’t stray too far.
- Beware of keeping your phone on your table at busy restaurants, leaving your phone in the car (even just for a ‘second’), etc.
- Find a ‘funky’ cover or skin to make it super easy to identify your iPhone – avoid an accidental mix up easily (I’m a big fan of the Infectious skins) when at a networking event or dinner with 7,000 other iPhone / Blackberry / Android users
- Password protect your phone to keep your logins, contacts, email and notes safe from undesirables - also great for making sure any kiddos in your life don’t make random calls to Japan
- For safety purposes, use an emergency app like smart-ICE to not only store your ICE info (‘In Case of Emergency’) for paramedics to be aware of medical conditions, insurance details and contact info, but add ICE info to your locked screen (in addition to your quirky-cool smart phone wall paper).
- Install a phone location / security app on your phone, a few examples:
Beware of public Wifi + ‘Evil Twins’
Yay for public Internet access! But boo for public Wi-Fi security. Extra emphasis on that ‘boo’ when using a credit card or login, as not all Wi-Fi connections are as secure and innocent as they seem. Learn more about the ‘Evil Twin’ phishing scam here.
As cumbersome and slow as it might be, opt for your 3G / 4G network connection over a public Wi-Fi connection to stay secure. Or pick up your own piece of the Internet and invest in a MiFi card.
What’s up with hardware and software security?
Not all apps and phones are created equal. As an iPhone user, Apple has a more stringent vetting process of apps that helps weed out *most* malicious programs. Android’s app community is far more open and has had some security exploits in early 2011.
Use common sense when purchasing apps and accessing certain sites (like your bank account, for instance) on your smart phone. Beware of ‘look alike’ apps that might be masquerading as a Chase banking utility and think twice about depositing checks using a phone app – and learn the safe ways to bank on your phone here..