Mobile Devices: Addressing the Risks
In today’s world, we are all extremely depending on our mobile devices such as our IPhone, Macs or laptops, and even the new Apple Watch. While everyone understands the dangers of texting and driving, we don’t always consider the other risks associated with these devices.
Just like your purse or wallet, you should never leave your device in an unattended vehicle. (If you must, then leave it in the trunk or out of sight.) A cell phone, charging cord, or other device left in plain sight is an invitation to a thief to break into your car.
The theft of your personal device results in loss of the device itself as well as the data it contains. The value of that data can far exceed the value of the device because the stored information could be impossible to recreate, such as your list of contacts or clients. In addition, the device could be used for identity theft or security breaches. Bank information, personal and business records, personal and/or business-related emails, confidential and sensitive documents and photos can all be used for these purposes if they fall into the wrong hands.
In 2013, U.S. companies experienced some of the highest cost-per-record data breaches at $188 per record, according to a Ponemon Institute Cost of Data Breach Study. Our recommendations include:
1. Be sure all of your personal devices have a password. Our suggestions for passwords include:
- Use eight or more characters in your password
- Avoid using passwords associated with your name or family member names
- Use passwords substantially different from all prior passwords
- Include an uppercase letter (not always the first letter)
- Don’t use your birthday, initials, the word “password,” or “abc123″
- Insure your higher value items in case of theft.
3. Consider adding identity theft coverage to your policy. For approximately $25.00 a year, you can purchase coverage of $15,000 or more to reimburse your expenses associated with repairing your credit record if you are a victim of identity theft.