Many of us often use our mobile device to access our financial affairs, social networks and to access important work documents.

Often people do not bother to take any steps to protect their data, including simple processes such as logging out of banking or networking sites properly. This makes us an ideal target for identity thieves.

Nowadays, it’s even more important to protect your phone as many of us store more and more of our sensitive data on our mobile devices. But if your iPhone does get lost, stolen or otherwise end up in the wrong hands, there are a few simple things you can do to help protect your information. 

1. Device Passcode – The most obvious and first step to protecting your phone is to lock your device with a PIN code or unique password. For a list of passwords to never use, refer to this article: http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/06/14/the-top-10-passcodes-you-should-never-use-on-your-iphone/.

2. Install a Tracking App –  If you do lose your phone, having a Tracking App might just save the day. iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry all have Tracking Apps available.

For the iPhone try Find my iPhone:  http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/find-my-iphone.html.

3. Use GPS – Many smartphones incorporate GPS, which can help you to locate your phone. The down side of this feature is you will have to have it constantly enabled as you cannot predict when you will lose your phone, and this will eat up your battery life fast.

4. Wipe data remotely – Apps such as Find my iPhone can also allow users to remotely clear all data or at least reset your phone back to their original factory settings.

5. Lock Sensitive data – Using an application locker utility will help to prevent any unauthorized access to certain apps such as your Phonebook, photo gallery and Messaging. This app is great for anyone who finds it a pain to have to lock their entire device as it allows you to lock all of your personal apps individually.

Check out here for various App lockers: 

Contract Pro: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/contactspro-lite-groups-more!/id385964740?mt=8.

Lookout: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/lookout-free-backup-security/id434893913?mt=8.

NQ Vault: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nq-vault-hide-private-pictures/id513852898?mt=8.

Secure Folder Pro: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/secure-folder-pro/id493537578?mt=8.

If wiping your data from your phone sounds a little drastic, or you aren’t comfortable going to that degree in the event that your lost phone actually comes back to you, then as always we advise you to make frequent backups of all the data on your phone.

Each mobile device will have a slightly different way to perform backups and some will take more time to do than others but it is well worth it in the long run.

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