Thursday, October 18, 2007

Inquirer.Net: Don’t make your cell phone your confidante

MANILA, Philippines―With cellular or mobile phones becoming almost like miniature computers with memory cards and all, you will have to take extra care when discarding an old one.
Don’t make your cell phone your confidante

This is exactly how a lot of local "scandals" have started:  clueless cellphone owner records himself/herself on the phone with a partner doing the "jiggy".  Months later the cellphone breaks and needs repairs.  Clueless cellphone owner wants to save some money opts to have the cellphone repaired at a neighborhood cellphone stall.  Cellhone technician finds the video, downloads it and "shares" it with his friends.

That scenario is actually a bit tame considering a lot of people are storing sensitive information like credit card numbers, ATM Card PINs, and passwords on their cellphones.  What's worse is that they simply store these data on their cellphone's notepad application!

Here's some tip to those who can't help but store confidential information on their cellphones:
  • If possible, use a "wallet" program that requires some sort of a password before sensitive information can be displayed.  Such programs are available for your cellphone depending on the make and model.  If your phone does not support this, don't store confidential informaton on them!
  • Before selling your cellphone, make sure to restore it to "factory default".  Doing so will wipe out all data on your device.
  • Always have your phone repaired at authorized service center.  If you insist on having it done elsewhere, make sure that you are around while they service your phone to make sure that data is not copied by the "technician".

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