When we type in the name and number of a friend or as we loan our phone to someone to make a call, the last think that we are thinking is that these actions could be putting those on the contact list in danger. Although not everyone out there is looking to take advantage of you by stealing your information, you never know when you will become the victim. You need to know what you can do to make sure that the information that you store on your cell phone is available only to you.
Law enforcement officials and legislators on Capitol Hill largely blame the cell phone carriers or service providers for breaches in security when it comes to having a customer’s contact list privacy compromised. It is easy to point fingers at the service providers, but blaming others for a problem doesn’t do anything to solve it. After all, with the almost twenty million wireless phone subscribers in the United States, even the best safety tactics of an individual company will not be perfectly impenetrable. There are things that we as cell phone users need to do in order to take our cell phone safety into our own hands.
Tips for how to keep your contacts list on your cell phone safe and private
Delete contact information before disposing of or giving away your old phone – Most phones have instructions in the user manual for how to delete contact information permanently.
Try only to have a person’s first name and phone number listed in your phone- You do not need to have every contact’s last name, address, place of work, etc. in your cell phone. To do so puts them in danger of someone being able to contact them or even to use that personal information to commit a crime.
Ask to have your cell phone call history removed from your bill – Those lengthy bills with a detailed record of every call that you made in the billing interval can be very compromising for those who you spoke with if that call history list fell into the wrong hands.
Always use the phone’s lock feature when you are not using the phone – Lock systems or passwords are a great way to keep prying eyes away from your contact list if your cell phone’s ever lost or stolen.
Do not leave your phone unattended, or in an unattended car – If you must leave it in your vehicle, lock the phone out of sight and use the phone’s password. Do not create a temptation for any shady characters who may happen to see your phone in the car or unattended as they pass by.
Report a stolen cell phone – Reporting a stolen cell phone immediately to the cellular service carrier or provider is important not only because you do not want to be charged for calls made without your consent, but some cell phone companies have a feature on their phones that allows them to disable or at least delete all personal information stored on your phone remotely. You can keep your contacts safe even when your phone is lost or stolen by asking for this remote deleting service.
Just as you would want your personal information kept safe; make sure that you perform the same service for your contacts. If you make it more difficult for a thief to take advantage of your contact’s personal information, it is likely that you will be left alone and a more naïve victim found. Your actions and effort to keep your phone and the information therein safe is your best defense.