Technology enables new possibilities and raises the standard for communications, entertainment and other consumer industries. As it rolls forward, however, uncharted territories are explored, prompting an array of concerns and considerations related to technological advances. Mobile communication, for example, has grown rapidly, simultaneously evolving in several directions. Smartphones, tablets, and even watches are now equipped with advanced functionality ranging from basic phone communications, to high-quality video production tools. The capabilities and related distractions are game changing in many ways. But as the playing field changes, so does vulnerability and the potential for unsafe mobile phone use.
Security and Safety
Several considerations are typically associated with the rise of portable communications and digital information sharing. Security concerns take center stage as technology evolves, because each advance opens the door to new forms of exploitation. The digital age continues to present new ways for criminals and opportunists – especially in terms of the way information is shared between modern business and personal contacts. Banking, loan payments and credit card bills are typically handled online, with users conducting fully portable lifestyles that contribute to staggering data sharing.
So many processes and communications are conducted digitally; it is no wonder security is periodically compromised. And the stakes are high for today’s users, because financial vulnerability is not always addresses by providers. It is ultimately up to each user to protect sensitive information and avoid unwanted consequences. Unfortunately, some consumers are learning the hard way – there are no guarantees when it comes to digital security.
Lost mobile devices account for a significant share of fraudulent charges each year. Not only does a lost mobile device compromise sensitive information contained therein, but it also enables unscrupulous opportunists to rack-up charges that lead to conflicts between legitimate users and mobile service providers. And while mobile customers have access to the latest capabilities and design features, their security interests are sometimes at odds with providers, who don’t automatically back up their customers.
If your mobile device is lost abroad, use these tips to reinforce your security.
Note Important Numbers – Should you lose your mobile device, preparedness is you best defense against catastrophic outcomes. While your phone is still in your possession, make a note of important information that will help locate your phone in the event of a problem. The IMEI number, for example, creates a signature unique to your device, so it should be available if needed. You can access it by dialing a code furnished by your network. Your provider’s “lost or stolen” contact number is another vital tool to have on hand when unexpected problems occur. Without quick access to the number, you’ll give thieves more time to exploit your account.
Block Access – For comprehensive security, the steps you take before losing your phone are often more important than your response after the fact. As a result, protecting the data chip containing sensitive information is among the most effective defenses against criminals running-up charges on your mobile network. The Subscriber’s Identity Module, commonly known as a SIM card, enables users to transport data between phones so they can transition from one hand set to another. Protecting your SIM card with a personal identification number (PIN) blocks other users from initiating calls, so adding a unique PIN to your account quickly thwarts bill shock. Secret authentication codes and encryption keys add further handset security.
Use Security Apps – In addition to network and device security, various apps help fortify your defenses against unauthorized charges to your mobile account. Location tracking and other precautions furnish peace of mind at little or no cost. And the feature also thwarts false alarms by finding misplaced, rather than stolen, devices.
Technological opportunity brings added responsibilities. To protect yourself from indiscretions, use proven techniques for enhancing security. Passive approaches are no longer sufficient, so you must use security apps, PINS, encryption and responsible practices to insulate yourself from harm. When problems do occur, refer to your IMEI number and contact your network provider as soon as possible, to close the response time and block access to your mobile device.