It’s smart policy for Iowans to keep their smartphones locked with a password or a fingerprint, according to consumer protection advocate Michelle Reinen.
She says having an unlocked phone is one step from having your identity stolen. Even if unlocking the phone takes a few extra seconds, Reinen says it’s worthwhile to secure it.
Reinen says, “While it can be an inconvenience, it’s really hard to argue that inconvenience against the valuable data those devices hold.”
Smartphones, for many of us, provide access to a large portion of our lives, from banking information to our personal communications and our social interactions.
“You want to make sure that people can’t get into the device and get all your contacts and email messages and if you have a password app, those types of things that can sit on those devices,” she says.
If you have a work-issued business phone, safeguarding it can be crucial to keeping company data secure.
“That’s certainly a larger larger consideration beyond the identity theft and the cyber scams that are out there, and worth consideration as well,” she says.
If your phone has the fingerprint technology for locking, use it. If you prefer a passcode, be sure to use a number that’s not easily guessed, like a birth date, and never use four zeros.