There can be a lot of private data on cellphones (e-mails, banking data, medical data, photos, etc.), and PC World takes a look at options for protecting your data, which is important in case your mobile phone is lost or stolen.
Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for The NPD Group, says locking a smartphone’s screen with a password offers a good first layer of protection–a simple process that, unfortunately, phone owners often fail to undergo.
If your phone is stolen and its SIM card is changed, Theft Aware software will send a notification to two numbers you submit to it. The app will also show you the phone’s location on Google Maps, among other features.The next layer, he says, could come in the form of an add-on phone-tracking application such as Microsoft’s free My Phone for Windows Mobile or Apple’s Find My iPhone app, which works on iPhones and iPads but requires a $99 annual subscription to Apple’s MobileMe data-syncing and backup service. The $15 Theft Aware for Android is one of several apps that can help you locate your missing Droid. […]
McAfee has also seen the cell phone light, so to speak, and recently acquired TenCube, the Singapore-based publisher of WaveSecure smartphone-protection software. Like the Kaspersky application, WaveSecure can track, lock, and data-wipe a stolen smartphone and detect SIM card changes. Once the phone has been locked down, a permanent message informing the finder of the owner and how to return the handset remains on the screen. […]
What else can you do to protect your cell phone’s data?
- Don’t store sensitive information in an easily readable form.
- If you use a password to encrypt or lock down your phone data, don’t forget the password. Data-protection programs have no “back doors,” and the only recourse you’ll have is to reset your phone–which erases all the data.
- Back up your phone data using your carrier’s Web service or an app that lets you back up to a computer. This step will allow you to get up to speed with your replacement handset quickly.
- To prevent thefts, be aware of your surroundings. Don’t put your phone down and walk away even a short distance, such as from your table at a coffee shop to the counter where the napkins are.
- Cell phone insurance is a good thing, but it replaces only the hardware, not your data.