Perhaps you have been the victim of smartphone theft, and if not yet, you probably know someone who has had their digital life taken from them. With our lives constantly on-the-go, and the way we have integrated our smartphones into virtually all of our daily activity, our phones are always out and within arm’s reach of the next opportunistic thief.
In fact, we often make it easy for criminals to steal our iPhone or Android phone — at a restaurant, on the bus, at a coffee shop, at a bar. To make matters worse, many of our children have smartphones as well, and if you are a parent, you have probably replaced at least one phone at some point - was it backed up? In the U.S. alone, 20 percent of children aged 8-16 reported a mobile phone theft. In the UK, 36 percent of children 6-10 lost their mobile phones, and 14 percent had a phone stolen in the past.
Don’t think it can happen to you? Think again! Here are a few more statistics as reported by a recent Lookout and IDG Research study:
- 44 percent of smartphones were stolen because the owner left it behind in a public setting.
- 14 percent were stolen from a car or house that was burglarized.
- 11 percent were stolen off the victim’s person: out of their hands, pockets, purses, or bags.
Yikes…I Lost Much More Than My Mobile Phone!
According to the same Lookout/IDG Research study, 50 percent of phone theft victims said they would pay $500 to get their devices back and more than one-third would pay $1,000 to retrieve their stolen smartphones.
All of this for a piece of hardware?! Well, not really.
Like having your wallet stolen, it’s not the wallet that is of most value to you — it’s the money, credit cards, and perhaps the pictures that are inside. Your smartphone often holds precious data from your daily digital life — emails, contacts, photos, videos, calendars, text messages – and this translates into important personal information, work-related information, contacts, and schedules. There’s a lot at stake! Besides losing those precious vacation, holiday, graduation, or wedding memories (because you cannot replace your photos), mobile theft can also result in:
· Identify theft
· Fraudulent credit card charges and bank withdrawals
· Loss of company confidential information
· Loss of personal and health information
· Arming hackers to target your contacts using email addresses and information found on your phone
3 Easy Steps to Keep Your Digital Life Safe
The good news is that there are solutions and specific steps you can take to protect your digital life. It starts WHEN you purchase your phone and even BEFORE you start using it.
By following these three simple steps, you can deter a criminal from accessing your data and protect your digital life from theft:
1. Always password protect your phone
Not protecting your phone with a password is foolhardy. If you don’t password protect your smartphone, anyone can get immediate access to your digital life. Make sure the password is long (6 characters preferred), mixes numbers, letters, and symbols, and is unique. Don’t use obvious passwords. Also be sure that when your phone is not in use, your device locks itself automatically. Today’s iPhones even have Touch ID with fingerprints for added security.
2. Use a find-my-phone app
When your smartphone is stolen or lost, there are many apps you can use to remotely track, lock, and wipe it before a criminal can access and use sensitive or personal data. However, these apps only work if you set them up beforehand. Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft all offer “find my phone” apps for their smartphones that work well. Third-party vendors offer these apps as well. Simply search online for terms such as “find my iPhone” or “find my Android phone” to see available apps and instructions.
3. Use a mobile device backup solution
While the first two steps above deter a criminal from accessing your data, this last step — backing up your mobile data — helps you recover your data. A smartphone backup solution, like Acronis True Image Cloud, backs up your pictures, videos, contacts, events, reminders, and messages and restores the information to a new device. The first time you back up your smartphone, all of this data is backed up and stored securely in the cloud. After the first full backup, only the changed and newly added data (e.g., new photos, etc.) is backed up. All backups happen in the background and you can choose your backup schedule. You don’t even have to think about it after that!
If a criminal does steal your smartphone, you probably won’t recover the device. However, you can recover all the content on the device and get your on-the-go digital life back quickly and easily with a cloud backup solution - even if your replacement device is a different model or from a different supplier.
To learn more, check out Acronis True Image Cloud today. It’s an easy, safe, and complete backup solution. Learn more and signup for a free trial today
Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 2,000 employees in 45 locations. Acronis Cyber Protect solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 18,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.