Friday , February 24 2017

What if Your Phone Gets into the Wrong Hands?

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It’s amazing how quickly we have become dependent on our smartphones.  We now do practically everything on them – from banking to emailing, video and picture capture and storage, to confidential texting—you name it.

But, as with many new technologies, people tend to get seduced by the benefits, without understanding the risks – until something bad happens.

Most people don’t realize how vulnerable they are to having their phone hacked into by an outside source.  Because smartphones are connected to the Internet, it’s actually quite easy for a sophisticated criminal or hacker to attack and get at your confidential information.  Viruses, spyware, even secret GPS devices that allow others to track your location in real time are all occurring more and more frequently.  Sometimes, illegal software is secretly copied onto phones when people download apps they think are legitimate.  Or, it’s just dropped onto the phone through a wireless network without your knowledge.

Then, there’s the concern of losing your phone.  It happens all the time. We take our devices everywhere —restaurants, clubs, theaters, amusement parks, air planes – all it takes is one distraction—and, poof—say goodbye to months or years of information.  Phone numbers, addresses, confidential emails and texts —information you probably don’t have backed up anywhere else.

Not to mention, the thought of a stranger now going through a detailed, screen-by-screen summary of your life.

Fortunately, there are now ways to protect yourself from these threats.  That’s because a new breed of security companies are developing simple, but advanced, protections for our smartphones.

One of the most advanced and successful of these is a company called Lookout Mobile Security.  They offer security, management, back up storage, and missing device solutions to more than four million users across 400 mobile networks in 170 countries.

Should you consider security for your smartphone?

Lookout has now made it remarkable easy and inexpensive to get solid security coverage for your smart phone.

Their apps include some very key and useful features.  The first thing it does is scan all existing and new downloadable apps, and alert you to any that can access private data on your phone— like contacts, location, messages, and personal information.

Lookout also serves as a perpetual backup system for all the data on your phone.  You set the backup frequency and it automatically backs up and stores your information securely and confidentially.  You can access your information at any time on the Lookout website, save copies, or restore your data to a new or existing phone.

If your phone is lost or stolen, you can use Lookout to remotely lock your phone, so that no one can access it but you. If it looks like you will not be retrieving the phone, you can go one step further and remotely delete all personal data from it – including the SD card.

Lookout can even help you find your phone if it’s lost or stolen by displaying the phone’s exact location on a map for you to zero in on it quickly.  And, if you sometimes lose your phone under a sweater or in a couch somewhere in your house, don’t waste time looking for it—you can activate a loud alarm from the phone, so you can find it immediately.

The cost of the Lookout service is less than $3 per month with no contract commitments, and it’s even cheaper if you sign up for a year. Compared to the cost of phone service, and the consequences of having your phone hacked, it’s a small price to pay for complete piece of mind.

With the amount of time and money we spend on this great gadget, making sure it’s secure is just common sense.