If you lose or throw away your old cell phone, you could be throwing away your identity. That sounds intense, but you know what you use your cell phones for. It can do a hundred different things like emails, business managing, updating twitter, doing online banking, and almost anything else you can think of that a computer can do. But if you can do those things, a predator can do so much more if they get their hands on your mobile device. T-Mobile representative Simal Patel has seen this before.
"We get two or three people in here each day who have had their phones lost or stolen, and they keep valuable information on them."
That info can come from anywhere on your phone, personal emails, banking applications, schedules and appointments, and addresses. Those are pretty much everything a person could need to steal your identity. So if your phone does go missing, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
"You can come in to a cell phone provider and they can remotely connect to your phone," said Patel. "T Mobile can actually erase the contents of your phone through our store, so if someone steals it or finds it, it will just be a blank cell."
Patel also recommends canceling the current SIM card you use. That can be done all on computer as well.
"That’s really great to hear," said a businessman who prefers to be anonymous. "I have really important business info on my phone, and if it gets into the wrong hands, I’d be doomed. So would the company I work for."
As technology becomes more indispensable, providers are now installing these fail-safe devices on each new model of cell phone that is produced. All you need to do is speak to your network provider and they can activate the memory deletion from their own computers. They strongly suggest you perform these tasks when you throw away your phone as well.
"You can bring your old phone into the store and we will manually wipe all the information from it," added Patel. "We will clean it out completely and either dispose of it for you, or give it to a third party that will reuse parts of your old phone to make new ones. We’re trying to go green now."
T-Mobile now produces a cell phone that is made entirely out of old cell phone parts. So you no longer need to feel guilty about giving up an older model that is still in good condition.
It’s time for you to catch up with technology. If you loose or throw away your phone, don’t think that it’s the end. For a predator, it’s just the beginning. Alexandra says: only you can prevent identity fraud by cleaning out your cell phones.