Gadgets & Technology Money Shopping 4 years ago Share Tweet With many people hoping for the latest Smartphone under the tree this Christmas, we thought it might be a good time to remind our readers of the hazards of smartphone theft and mobile phone scams. Don’t be the victim of smartphone theft or scamming. Set a password for your phone to lock. Use a complex password, not something simple like 1234. Set it to lock automatically after two to three minutes of inactivity. Install a ‘wipe’ application, which allows you to send a command to your phone that will erase all the data held on the phone, if it is stolen or lost. This will keep your information (passwords, payment and banking details) safe from scammers. Be wary of free wi-fi which can be used by hackers to access your internet connection and avoid carrying out purchases while connected to free wi-fi. Note, the browser address: https is secure, http is not secure. Ideally, turn off wi-fi on your phone when not in use. Nokia Lumia Similar to wi-fi, bluetooth should be turned off when not in use. If you do use bluetooth, ensure that your bluetooth is set to ‘not discoverable’ and only change the mode when actively pairing with a device. Don’t click on links contained in emails or texts messages from a sender you don’t recognise. These can take you to sites that will install software on your phone designed to steal your data, sign you up to premium rate text services or impersonate websites asking you to enter your login details which they can they use to access at a later date. Update your software regularly and be particularly careful to keep the security software up to date. Only download official apps from a trustworthy source and carefully check what permissions the app is seeking. Use of third party apps increases your security risk. If you use your smartphone for payments you should also inform your bank in the case of theft. Clear the cache in your smartphone regularly and avoid ‘remembering’ passwords. If your phone is stolen, the thief may be able to access these sites or applications and therefore have access to all the data contained within. If you’re upgrading your smartphone and recycling or selling your previous model remember to clear the data held on it. Mobile phone theft prevention tips we also advise smartphone owners to: – Download a location finder app. Consider Find My iPhone for iPhone or Android Lost for Android. – Take note of your phone’s IMEI numer by dialing *#06#. If your phone is stolen your service provider can then block the device.