Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices Can Lead to Identity Theft

We lose stuff. You put something down, you get distracted, you forget about it and it’s gone. Stuff falls out of our pockets and bags all the time. I’m one of those people that’s so smart, I’m stupid and absent minded when it comes to my stuff. Where’s my wallet, where are my keys, where’s my phone? After 40+ years, I have a system of where I put my stuff, but it’s far from perfect.

At Oktoberfest many smart stupid people lost a lot stuff including 410 wallets, 4 wedding rings, 1 toaster, 1 set of dentures, 1 prosthetic leg and 320 mobile phones. I could easily be a one legged, toothless, ringless mess who lost his mobile and wallet.

That’d be me hopping around trying to make a call worried if my wife would be more upset I lost my leg or ring. NO MORE OKTOBERFEST FOR YOU!

While wallets are problematic, phones are the biggest issue here. Number of phones left in taxis every 6 months = 3 per taxi. Number of phones stolen in London alone = 120,000 a year!!!

Our phones transmit almost 17 billion texts per day, 52% of us store passwords on our phones, 87.5 million of us bank on our phones and I bet even more of us have naked pictures on there… of our pets.

These losses can lead to identity theft — if your mobile device falls into the wrong hands.

So what are your options for protecting your digital life extension?

Invest in a service that locates, locks, wipes and when you get a new phone, restores your data.

McAfee WaveSecure will:

— Remotely lock down your device. Wipe out important data stored on your mobile to protect your privacy

— Back up your data from your phone or remotely on the web. Access your data online from anywhere. Restore your data to a new phone

— Locate your lost phone and plot the locations on a map. Track SIM cards inserted and phone calls made to help get your lost phone back

Robert Siciliano is a McAfee Consultant and Identity Theft Expert. See him discussing how to protect yourself from identity theft on CounterIdentityTheft.com. (Disclosures)

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