Have you ever experienced the moment of panic that accompanies the temporary (or in some cases permanent) loss of your cellphone? The immediate realization of going without things like our GPS and fun, functional apps is stressful enough, but have you thought about the possibility of your personal information being stolen as well? If you have ever entered billing information on any of your apps or web pages and later lost your phone, you could be at risk.

7 tips to protect yourself and your personal information:

Install a Phone Locator App

Apps like “Find My iPhone” and “Find My Phone” will not only help locate your device(s) on a map, but can even remotely lock it, display custom messages, erase data, monitor the missing device’s location changes via updates to an app map, and more.

Secure Access

The simplest way to prevent your information from being accessed is by establishing and requiring a complex passcode, touch ID and/or biometric features to unlock your phone.

Exercise Caution

Now more than ever, it is critical to be wary of suspicious messages or questionable links. Before entering personal or billing information, check the site’s security. Any page that requires credit card information should start with ‘https://.’

Closely Review App-worthy Requests

Be mindful of information requests when installing an app on your device. If there is not a legitimate reason for the app to have access to certain information, consider whether installing the app is worth the risk (ex: a voice-recording app requesting access to your camera).

Download Apps Only from Trusted Sources (i.e. Apple, Google Play)

It’s important to only download apps from trusted sources. Avoid apps that are not from major app stores.

Avoid Public WiFi

Public WiFi hotspots are key places for ill-intentioned individuals to acquire access to others’ data. An action as simple as opening email on public WiFi can easily expose your passwords, ultimately giving hackers access to many of your other online activities.

Protect Your Identity

If you do become the victim of hacking—and in turn, identity theft—it can damage your personal and financial reputation. Quick detection and rapid response can reduce your risk of identity theft. Farm Bureau can help with affordable Identity Services and Fraud Expense Coverage¹ that can be added to your homeowners, farm/ranch, other property or liability insurance policies for just $25 per year.

¹Identity services included in the Identity Services and Fraud Expense Coverage are provided by CyberScout, LLC.





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