Protection from Identity Theft…Password Protect Your Cell Phone!

My friend, Kelly from Sephone Internet Solutions, sent me a message using Twitter which contained a link to an identity theft story. Knowing that Kelly never sends me junk mail, I clicked on the link and read the following story: (To see full text, click here)

His [speaking of a friend of his son] identity was compromised through a device so common that I never would have even suspected that it can be used for such a purpose. It was a cell phone. I know; I said the same thing: a cell phone! How could a cell phone possibly be used to steal or attack your identity? I can assure you that was the first question that went through my mind.

This is Bob’s story as told to my fiancé by his father. Bob is 16 years old. What could he possibly have to compromise at that age? It wasn’t so much what Bob had as it was to what he had access. Bob’s story begins a few weeks back when he lost his cell phone. Apparently the cell phone fell into the hands of a very capable criminal. This capable criminal used Bob’s phonebook/contact list contained within the cell phone. The criminal used the cell phone to contact Bob’s Grandmother. The Grandmother was told of a terrible accident that involved Bob while he was traveling in Canada. The thief went on further to tell the Grandmother that unless she was able to electronically transfer $3,900 to the hospital in Canada, that Bob would be unable to receive desperately needed medical care. Obviously the thief appealed to the grandmother’s maternal nurturing instinct to come to the aid of a loved one. Sadly, she sent the money. I am absolutely convinced that if my mother had received a similar telephone call telling her of a terrible tragedy that has befallen one of my daughters, she would also become a victim in this type of scam.

[NOTE: I have read some of “Father Tom’s” other postings and subsequently added his blog to my google reader list.]

Kelly and I talked briefly about this post and decided to blog about different aspects of this security issue.

So, how can you protect yourself, and your loved ones, from falling prey to a similar criminal? LOCK YOUR PHONE!

In most cases it is very easy. Here is how to do it for models we carry at Central Maine Wireless.

Typically, manufacturers use very similar menus across models. So, using these instructions should work for you. If they don’t, feel free to stop into Central Maine Wireless and we’ll help you…for FREE!!!

CAUTION: If you password protect your phone, use something that you will remember. If you put a password on and can’t remember, the only fix for that is to have the phones software flashed – which will cause you to lose all of your information!!!

Motorola Phones:
1) Click the Menu button (typically the middle of the round navigation button)
2) Choose Settings
3) Choose Security
4) Choose Phone Lock
5) Choose Lock Now or Automatic Lock

Samsung Phones
1) Click the Menu button (varies from model to model)
2) Choose Settings (usually has an icon that looks like a cog)
3) Choose Phone Settings
4) Choose Security (it will prompt you for a code. Typically it’s 1234 or 0000 or last 4 digits of your phone number.)
5) Choose Lock Phone
6) Choose Lock, Unlock, or On Power Up

LG Phones
1) Click the Menu button (varies from model to model)
2) Choose Settings (usually has an icon that looks like a cog)
3) Choose Security
4) Choose Lock
5) Choose lock, unlock or On Power Up

Kyocera Phones
1) Click the Menu button (varies from model to model)
2) Choose Settings
3) Choose Security
4) Choose Lock Phone
5) Click OK (will bring up a warning message – click after reading)
6) Choose Never, On Power Up or Now (Info option gives you the warning message from step 5)

Blackberry Phones
1) Go to Applications
2) Choose Options
3) Choose Security Options
4) Choose General Settings
5) Enable Password by highlighting “disable” and click on it with roller ball. Choose Enable.
6) Press Blackberry Menu Key (the one with the Blackberry logo on it)
7) Choose Save – will prompt you to choose a new password – type in password.
8) Click Back key and the password will save.
(NOTE: It is especially important to remember your Blackberry password. You only have 10 attempts to put in the correct password before it will wipe all data off your device)

HTC Phones
1) Choose Start
2) Choose Settings
3) Choose Lock
4) Check “Prompt if devise is unused for”
5) Choose number of minutes you want for delay.
6) Choose Password type
7) Choose and enter your desired password
8) Confirm the password entered in step 7
9) Click the hint tab at the bottom.
10) Provide a password hint in the text field provided.

I hope the information provided here helps you. Again, if you need assistance to place a password on your phone, come in and see any one of us (Ronda, Bob, Kelsey, Joe, Rob or I) at Central Maine Wireless. We are located at 627 Broadway (in the Broadway Shopping Center) in Bangor.


About Paul H-C

Just an avid reader in the little town of Bangor, Maine (Yes, that Bangor...home of Stephen King). When I'm not reading and drinking coffee, I sell cell phones by the sea shore.
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One Response to Protection from Identity Theft…Password Protect Your Cell Phone!

  1. LadyOTrout says:

    This is great! I am going to link to both you and Father Tom in my next post.

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