How secure have you made your phone?

Not a great, catchy title, but it did grab your interest enough to bring you here. I have been meaning to write a post on this very subject for some time, but you know how that is. Life just kind of gets in the way!

I saw a post on Facebook this morning which spurred me into action – a high school friend was contacting someone on Facebook because his phone had been stolen. My first thought was oh, how sad. My second was, I wonder if he had a password on his phone. My third was, why isn’t he private messaging? (But that’s just me.)

Another friend and I were visiting at a convention a couple of years ago and she had just purchased an iPhone and was learning how to use it. I asked if she had set her passcode and set the lock on her phone. She said she had not, but would soon. A few hours later, we met up again and she was on the hunt for her phone. She was in a meeting and had set it to silence (then forget it on the table) so calling the phone was not an option. I asked if she had set her passcode and she said she had not. The phone was never returned to her, but even if someone had wanted to, how would they know who it belonged to? (Read on to find out how you know my phone belongs to me.)

With so many “itchy” fingers and identify theft going on, there really is no excuse to take a few moments of your time to protect yourself. Hackers may still hack, but we don’t have to make it easy for them!

I have an iPhone. The first thing I did was take advantage of the password protection it offered. To use my phone, you must enter the passcode. I also set the phone to lock after two minutes. If you manage to get past my passcode, each app on my phone that offers a passcode/password protection feature has been set up – AND NOT WITH THE SAME PASSCODE! Hopefully, this will deter anyone from going further. At the least, I hope to have noticed that my phone is missing and by this point, disabled it from another phone. The iPhone (I am not familiar with other phones) also has a feature “Find my Phone” and you can actually set off an alarm or verbal message such as “This phone is stolen” to sound off.

On my locked screen, I put a snapshot of myself. Not because I like my face, although I do use it to remind my hair stylist of the cut and color (it can come in handy!), but for the purpose of having my phone returned to me by an honest person should I leave it on a table in a restaurant or store, etc. In the event, they can’t find me, I also have the message on the picture to please call a number, which is my husband’s phone. Fortunately, I haven’t forgotten my phone anywhere, but being a “Lucy” there’s always a first time. I am a very conscientious person, so this is less of an issue with me than some of my friends. I am also a very paranoid cautious person.

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Getting back to the phone, which I use as a computer – which it is. I think folks forget that we actually have these little mini computers that we hold in our hands and talk on, and do business with. We have gotten so blaze’ with technology that we forget about what our phones do. I take care of banking on my phone. I do business transactions. I handle emails and a myriad of other personal things. I am an Evernote premium customer – that should give you an idea! I want to protect my information as much as I possibly can.

I know that passwords/passcodes can be a real pain at times, but it is just so easy to protect yourself, so why not take those few minutes? In the long run, it will no way equal the time you will spend trying to get your identity back.

If you are anything like me, you do not remember all the passwords you are using. I am a huge fan of Dashlane (and I am also a premium member) for storing my passwords/passcodes. Dashlane will also let you know when it is time to change a password if it’s been a while since you’ve done so. And, not only will it remind you, it will choose one for you! Gotta luv that! Being lazy just got easier! As well as being able to track all of your passwords in Dashlane, you can also store your credit card information. Dashlane syncs across all of your devices and automatically logs you in on your computer. It’s great for autofill when you are shopping and about a gazillion other things.

I hope that after you read this post, you will be motivated to take a few moments and protect your information; even if you only put the passcode on your phone. I will be doing a few other posts on some of the apps I am quite fond of and why I love them so much.

Do you take advantage of passcodes/passwords? Please take a moment and weigh in. Let me know your favorite apps. Thanks!