Remember when your wallet or your purse was all you had to bring with you when you left the house? In those days, the simple necessities were your driver’s license, credit card and cash.
Fast forward to the age of smartphones and gadgets. An age where the devices you rely on daily can invade your privacy and steal from you at any moment.
Is the smartphone becoming too smart? Continue reading to find out what you should never store on your smartphone for your own security.
8. Your Passwords
Passwords are supposed to secure our data from cyber intruders. But there is an invasive scourge, causing law-abiding citizens to put sensitive information under lock and key.
And it doesn’t matter how safe you think your information is. Thieves are somewhere trying to take advantage of your personal or financial information.
Yes, you are asked to provide strong passwords. But more often than not, you forget those passwords. If you put your password on your phone, even in the form of an autofill, cheat sheet or any other document, you are taking a risk. If your phone gets lost, your life can be up for grabs.
Consider downloading a highly-rated password manager like Keeper, Dashlane or LastPass, so all your passwords will be in one place with one master password.
7. Your Face
Using facial recognition to access your phone may be safer than using a fingerprint, but it’s troubling when you struggle to keep the phone at the correct angle for recognition.
The thing is — facial recognition to unlock your phone is proven to be far less secure than a simple password. Consider switching back to a number password to keep your phone safer.
6. Your Fingerprint
Don’t be tempted to use fingerprint ID to unlock your phone or any other functions on the phone. Think of the many scenarios where someone can physically get you to open your phone to steal your data.
A phone that needs a password to open requires several steps, so even if someone forces you to input your password, it takes more time and can draw attention to your situation. Fingerprint input is quicker and less secure. It is also possible for your fingerprint to be stolen.
5. Extra Personal Photos and Videos
When storing photos and videos on your phone, ask yourself whether or not you would be embarrassed if someone gained access to them.
If you have sensitive video content or pictures you wouldn’t want your children, spouse, boss or parents to see, then don’t store them on your phone.
Thieves can easily access those since they are likely stored in the cloud. Instead, consider storing them in a password-protected app or folder, or else you may become a target for blackmail.
4. Personal Things on Employer-Issued Phone
An employer-issued phone is not a private phone, so you should expect no privacy. Even when you are doing remote work, it’s not remotely off-limits to your employer. Don’t think of it as a free phone for your private storage. Have another phone for personal use and keep your work phone strictly for work-related things.
3. Photos Containing Private Information
Taking a photo of everything you carry in your wallet and private documents you are afraid of losing may seem like a good idea. For example, if you lose your ID but have a photo of it, there are certain instances where the photo would be accepted as a form if identification.
However, you should consider the chance of your phone being stolen or cyber thieves hacking you. Your information could get away from you and be in a cyberspace criminal’s hands. If you need to store private information, put it on a computer with a password-protected app or album.
2. Banking Information
Yes, online banking is the greatest thing since smartphones! The convenience of online banking allows you to bank anywhere, any time. It comes at the cost of your privacy, though.
You take your banking information around with you every day, and it’s a risk people don’t even think can affect them. If you lose your phone, you’ll be scrambling to close accounts.
To manage the risk, do your online banking on your computer that never leaves home. And if you must take your bank account with you, be sure to utilize unique passwords.
1. Your Home Address
While putting your home address on the navigation app on your phone is super convenient to help you get home easily from anywhere, it can leave you vulnerable.
Any unscrupulous person getting a hold of your phone can easily click on Google Map or Waze. They can see places you frequent throughout the day and will know exactly where you live. Hackers can use your home or work address to target you for their own gain.
If you need to have your address on your phone for whatever reason, use a challenging codeword as an identifier that criminals won’t access so easily.
Outsmart Your Smartphone
Technological advances make life more efficient and devices more sustainable. Technology also puts more ammunition in the hands of criminals to fight indirectly. Even the creators of apps can be the criminal at times.
Unfortunately, as gadgets get smarter, so do cybercriminals. Let’s outsmart our gadgets by knowing what to store on them and what to store in a more secure location.