Discussion Topic #8: It’s important to password-protect your mobile device

Do you carry a mobile device such as a smart phone, mp3 player, tablet or laptop? If so, like many others, you probably have important information on it. For example, it may contain your personal contact information and that of your friends and family, along with all of your texts and e-mails.  It might even have other valuable data like your banking details.

Think now about what would happen if you lost this device at school, on a bus or at the mall. If your device wasn’t password-protected, it would be easy for anybody to pick it up and gain access to any and all personal information on it. And by texting or e-mailing from it, whoever picked it up could even pretend to be you.

On the other hand, by protecting your device with a password that’s hard to guess, and adjusting the settings so that it locks very shortly after it’s no longer being used, you can protect your device, your personal information and your reputation.

Mobile devices provide us all with tremendous convenience. It’s hard to imagine life without them. As new models are introduced with new features and apps, they have the potential to store more and more personal data. But at the same time, they somehow keep getting smaller and smaller, which makes them easy to lose – or even steal .

And once your personal information is compromised, it’s hard to retake control. That information can be used in ways that could cause you significant personal and financial harm.  All this to say that the few minutes you need to set a password for your device will be very much worth your time.

There are other things you can do to help avoid the risks that mobile devices can bring to your personal information. See our 10 tips to protect your privacy on mobile devices.

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