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Millions at risk of ID theft and fraud via their mobile phone

Police have issued a warning that millions of people are making themselves vulnerable to fraud and ID theft because they are failing to make the most basic of steps to protect their mobile phone! All it takes is one easy step towards protecting all that you hold dear and that is contained on your phone.

It appears that three million people are making themselves vulnerable by not password protecting their phone. Figures reveal that 59% of adults do not have password protection on their phone and few take the time to properly log-out of banking or social network apps, making it incredibly easy for criminals to steal their details and use them fraudulently. The same research shows that every day 264 mobile phone robberies are reported to the police – a figure that's up by 25% in the last three years: the risks are very real indeed and we must take more care with our mobiles.

It does seem madness that, at a time when mobile thefts and loss are at an all time high, people are failing to protect their handsets with a PIN code or password! When people think about losing their phone, they tend to think about the photos or music stored on it, or the information in their contact directory. However, the main concern for those suddenly finding themselves as victims of phone theft or loss should surely be fraud or ID theft. Banking apps, social media accounts that are readily signed in and the personal information held on email accounts can make you incredibly vulnerable if your phone ends up in the wrong hands.

If criminals have stolen your phone and they have access to your personal data – then they have an extremely valuable chunk of information. Often too we have access to our Twitter account, Facebook details, addresses, phone numbers – even our home address and our diary which may indicate when we are out of the house and the property will be empty.

What can we do to protect ourselves? Well – obviously, activate the password! Most phones now offer the option to protect the device with a password or PIN code. Delete all non-current information (such as old emails) and make sure you log out of all applications properly. Make sure too, that your phone has proper insurance cover. The debate has long been raging about whether or not you need specialist insurance (surprising, as supplied by the mobile phone industry!). However, your contents insurance will probably cover your mobile.

If you are in any doubt just make a quick phone call to Westhill Insurance Services: our advice and guidance are free and we can help you determine whether you need any additional cover or not. More often than not, this is not the case – but the time to check is now, whilst your phone is safely in your pocket or bag – not when you know it is missing. Our friendly and professional team would far prefer to take a call from you now rather than at some point in the future when you call to say your phone has been stolen. We hear some very sad cases involving phone theft that have had much worse consequences than just ending up without a mobile phone for a while. So take two little steps to help yourself – password or PIN protect your phone and call Westhill Insurance Services: then, should something happen to your phone you know you have done all that you can to keep your information safe. With the statistics of theft and loss speaking for themselves, can you really afford not to?

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 23rd March, 2013