I take my phone for granted quite often. On a daily basis, really. Every morning I give it the stink eye as I hit the snooze button on the screen, bitter about its blaring beeping alarm (that I set the night before, mind you). Throughout the day, I recklessly toss it around in the black hole known as my handbag. And let’s not mention how many times I drop the poor thing onto bare concrete. The sad part is that my phone isn’t even one of those free, instant-rebate-when-you-sign-a-two-year-contract, old-school brick-like Nokias with only calling capabilities. No, it’s a relatively nice device, a sleek little smartphone that powers a plethora of apps and programs that have become vital in sustaining my everyday routine.
More than 82 million Americans own a smartphone, and according to a study conducted in July, 30.1% of those people use their phones to connect to social networking sites and blogs. I use my phone daily to check my many Gmail accounts, take care of errands, connect with my friends on Facebook, keep up with current news and trends through Twitter, navigate my way through the city, “check-in” to restaurants using Yelp, and download documents and do work. My life literally lies within a portable hardware enclosure of aluminum and plastic. To that end, sometimes I find it scary how much of my personal information is on my phone, and how vulnerable I am by depending on it in such capacities.
This got me thinking—what would happen if someone stole my phone? I’m linked to all of my favorite social networks through my phone, and my synced-up accounts, like my email and my banking, all contain extremely private and sensitive information. We use our phones so casually nowadays and forget how much information we store in them, but if our phones ever fell into the wrong hands, we would have to deal with a lot of repercussions.
How can we take precautionary measures? By setting up a simple security lock our phones, we can rest assured knowing that if in the unfortunate event we lose them, no one will be able to access our data and information. Being safe online and on social media channels is not just about discretion about our personal information, but also about being responsible with our technology as well.