The protection of personal data on smartphones has become imperative in the digital age. With a plethora of sensitive information stored on our handheld devices, the risk of data breach due to loss or theft is an ever-looming threat. Helpfully, the prevalence of refurbished phones and the operations of IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) companies can play a significant role in data protection along with numerous other measures. Read on to find out how to best safeguard your crucial data should your smartphone go missing.
Two Ways to Secure Your Device Remotely
1. Activate Remote Tracking and Locking
In the unfortunate event of a smartphone loss or theft, the activation of remote tracking and locking services can be helpful. These services, often incorporated within a device’s operating system, serve as an essential line of defence against data theft and unauthorised access. Enabling features like ‘Find My Phone’ means that you can potentially track your device’s location in real time via a web-based interface. This could significantly improve the chances of recovering the device. Additionally, this functionality means you can remotely lock the device, thereby rendering it inaccessible to anyone without the correct credentials.
Remote locking not only acts as a deterrent to the opportunistic thief but also gives the rightful owner an opportunity to secure their data before it falls into the wrong hands. In addition to tracking and locking, some services also allow you to play a loud sound on the device. This feature can prove incredibly useful if the device is lost nearby, or to draw attention to a stolen device. However, these features can only come to your rescue if they are activated before the incident occurs.
2. Use Remote Data Wiping
Remote data wiping stands as a last resort, yet critical, guard against the misuse of your information when your smartphone is lost or stolen. This function means you can erase all data on your device from afar, leaving no opportunity for unsanctioned access. Nevertheless, this feature comes with a caveat – the loss of your data will be permanent. As such, it underscores the necessity of regularly backing up your data to secure essential information.
Two Ways to Strengthen Your Device’s Security
1. Set Up Strong Device Locks
The initial layer of defence against unauthorised access is a robust device lock. Setting strong PINs, passwords or biometric authentication methods can significantly enhance device security. Creating unique, complex passwords or using a password manager can greatly improve password strength. Features such as fingerprint or facial recognition further augment device security, too.
2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) offers a robust protective layer for online accounts linked to your smartphone. This process involves validating your identity via two distinct methods, making it challenging for intruders to gain unauthorised access. Typically, this includes something you know, like a password, combined with something you possess, such as a unique code sent to your phone in the form of a text message, for instance.
From email to banking apps, 2FA should be enabled whenever available. Utilising trusted methods, like SMS codes or authenticator apps, heightens your digital security further. By embracing 2FA more fully, smartphone users can secure their digital footprint and considerably reduce the risk of falling victim to cybercrimes.
Two Ways to Protect Your Data Through Refurbished Phones and ITAD Companies
1. Consider Refurbished Phones
Refurbished phones can provide enhanced data security due to their stringent testing and data erasure processes. Such phones have typically undergone comprehensive checks by experts in IT to ensure all the data that was stored has been thoroughly wiped, not merely deleted which is not the same thing by any means. Reputable sources of refurbished phones offer warranties, too, adding an extra layer of consumer protection.
2. Work with an ITAD Company
An ITAD company is a firm that specialises in secure data disposal, adding a potent tool to your data protection arsenal. These companies handle secure data destruction and facilities with certificates of destruction to do the job, not just deleting old data. What’s more, they also handle the responsible recycling and disposal of old devices.
Businesses should consider the merits of partnering with a reliable ITAD company. Doing so will ensure data is completely wiped from your team’s old smartphones, reducing the risk of a hacker attempting to facilitate a data breach down the line. In short, utilising an ITAD service provider contributes towards both data protection and responsible electronic waste management.
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