Smart phone guide to staying safe

80% of the US population now has a smart phone.

What does that really mean?  It means we are walking around with our lives attached to our pockets, purse or pants.  If that small device should get lost it could be like going on vacation and leaving your doors open on your home.  It’s scary.  I don’t know about you but in times of turmoil  I tend to panic and just don’t think clearly.  I can’t remember what’s on my phone that I need to change passwords for.  And there’s no way I know the phone number to verizon wireless customer service (or any of the service providers numbers).

This has recently happened to me (while away from my home on vacation) and as I went through the process of trying to secure my life I made notes to make the process easier if it ever happens again.

I hope you will find this information

First plan ahead… put a tracking app on your phone so you may easily be able to find the phone.  These apps may also allow you to wipe the phone clean if needed.  Now remember don’t turn off your service if you are planning on tracking your phone.  You’ll need the phone to be on and connected to the internet.

Second be sure to use the handy password or image protection on the phone. This will help keep people out long enough for you to shut off the phone, track it and change your passwords to vital information.

Next somewhere on the phone (perhaps under the cover) add your name, and home phone number so if someone finds it they can leave you a message. Keep in mind if the phone is locked down the person finding the phone may not be able to answer it, or find any information about you inside of it.  So having a ICE (in case of emergency) number located in your contacts will be of no use.  That was great when a phone was just a phone and the only thing we worried about if the phone was lost was the finder making long distance phone calls.

It’s a good idea to tuck away the verizon service number in your wallet before leaving home.  I found this was an extremely hard number to find on the internet when in a panicked state.  Although it was very easy to find sales phone numbers. (The number I was able to call was 800-922-0204)

If you have insurance on the phone also add the insurance number to your list.  Asurion 888-881-2622.  Again double check this number to be sure it works for your account.

The other thing you may want to put on this sheet is the passwords to accounts  that will cause you heartburn if someone finds your phone and uses these accounts.  Consider accounts like : Google, Dropbox, Dropcam, Trello, Skype, Amazon, Facebook, adwords, Yahoo, there are so many.  To find some of these go through your list of apps.  I found changing my passwords helped but I expected changing my google password would stop someone from getting to my contacts but that wasn’t the case. So keep that in mind if you like to put notes with the contacts in google.  I don’t see a way to protect them.

If you have any ideas we can add to this list I’d love to hear them.  Just list them in the comments below.

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