We’ve all seen it. An unusual post on Facebook from someone you know that left their phone out and a buddy got a hold of it. Everyone gets a good laugh, the funny comments fly, etc.
You’re laughing, I’m not laughing. You think it’s just fun and games, but you’re not looking at the big picture. I’m stingy with my info on Facebook, so things like my current city and hometown, you won’t find them. With good reason. Have you ever logged on to a bank account you seldom use, where you cannot remember the password? What do they ask you? Security questions! Childhood best friend, favorite pet, place of birth, favorite cartoon character, (and your only cartoon like is family guy on facebook) and the list goes on.
“But nick, they email my password reset requests.” Which get delivered to your phone in many cases! Your smartphone should be a frickin vault. Pin protected at the minimum. If you lose your phone, do you have an app that locks and/or wipes the phone when used?
“They’re just posting on Facebook to be funny.” People have lost their jobs because of careless or insensitive comments, and THEY were the ones that posted it. What if you lost your job because a friend thought it would be funny to make insensitive comments that they knew YOU would understand, but not your boss, who you happen to be friends with, or your corporate Facebook page who occasionally looks at the content of it’s followers? There’s ZERO way to explain to your (now former) employer that a friend posted from your phone. Not without demonstrating a complete lack of responsibility with technology.
Even the self employed aren’t safe. Showing people that your smartphone is vulnerable means their information could be potentially vulnerable as well. Addresses to ship products, names and billing info, etc.
“But I hate typing in my PIN to view my phone.” You know what I hate? Entering my PIN, and finding my bank account empty. You’ll also hate the time it will take to recover your name, and get back in good standing.
I know it’s an inconvenience, but it’s necessary. Do you know how many blogs I’ve deleted solely because I represent a corporation, and don’t want my words to be twisted in a way that can reflect poorly on them, which in turn puts them in a tough spot? It’s unfortunate, but being unemployed is less than pleasant.
The message is simple: dont be a dumb user, lock your smartphone. It’s your first line of defense. At the end of the day, if they want it, they’ll get it, just like cars. But if you make it that much more difficult, they’ll move on to an easier target.
And friends, don’t post stupid things on your friends Facebook page. Maybe instead you post “PIN protection is one of the simplest ways to protect your self from cybercrime, phishing and friends like me who post status updates such as this to make a point.”
This has been a public service announcement.