Home > ID Theft & the Law > Mobile Telephones and Data Theft

Mobile Telephones and Data Theft

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 18 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Mobile Telephones Laptop Wireless Device

Most of us now are in possession of a mobile telephone which we use for more than just making telephone calls. Although these mobile telephones were initially designed so that we could communicate with each other over large distances they have now taken on a more administrative dimension and see us using them for storing personal information as well as producing complex word processing and spreadsheet documents.

The Modern Office on the Move

Mobile technology has progressed to such an extent these days that many individuals can conduct business using their mobile telephones. In saying this of course we are excluding the making of telephone calls and are referring in no small part to the use of emails, spreadsheets, word processing documents and also the use of our telephones as dictation and camera devices.

Wi-Fi Technology

Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) is one of the newest ways of using both mobile telephones and computer technology to access the Internet. The basic principle of Wi-Fi is that it can pick up the Internet in so-called 'hot spots' using a built in wireless modem. This wireless signal is relayed and used to transmit and receive data and calls in the same way as mobile telephones transmit and receive calls.

The Dangers of Data Theft

Using mobile telephones on the move - especially whilst using so-called Wi-Fi technology - can lead to a whole host of problems, the main one being the very real danger of data theft. Some mobile and wireless devices are not securely protected and as a result they are left open to hacking by individuals who scour these 'hot spots' looking for unprotected devices.

If a telephone or wireless laptop is not correctly protected then once it is 'seen' in a 'hot spot' then it can be accessed by another mobile telephone or laptop and at this point information can be downloaded or accessed whilst the individual is within that area.

Indeed many often are unaware that this is actually occurring and may never find out until such times as they find their identity is being used for purposes other than those it was originally intended or if their computers or telephones have been accessing sites that a user would not normally visit.

Protecting Your Data

One of the easiest and most common ways of securing your data on a mobile telephone or laptop - especially if they are accessing the Internet - is to encrypt your wireless connection. Most mobile telephones - Blackberry devices included - along with laptop wireless devices will allow you to provide what is known as a WPA or WEP key. These alpha-numeric and numeric strings of digits allow for encryption of any data you send or receive and also make it difficult for any would-be identity thieves to get access to your device in a 'hot spot'.

It is also worth removing any data from your mobile telephone's memory card as soon as you return home or to your office. Save this information to a desktop PC and delete it from your memory card. If you mobile telephone is lost or stolen then the memory card is one of the first places an identity thief will look in order to try and establish what they can about you.

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