Losing your mobile phone seems to be as common as misplacing the remote control nowadays. While in the past such misfortune may have necessitated a quick call to the insurer or network, mobile phones are no longer such simple devices; they are at the epicentre of many of our identities, a medium on which we shop, Tweet, transfer money and email. But recent research by Churchill Home Insurance, in tandem with online fraud experts Garlik, indicates such activity could lead to further trouble down the road.
That’s because consumers are failing to take the necessary steps to protect personal information they disseminate on websites while browsing the internet. Less than half of those surveyed changed all passwords to personal accounts after losing their mobile device, while over a quarter did not address password security at all.
Therein lies the problem; consumers fail to see that their mobile computing devices are ripe fruit for identity fraudsters and opportunistic e-thieves. Such careless chutzpah has led to an increase in phone theft claims made to Churchill in the past two years.
The insurer has an answer however. Earlier this month, Churchill began offering the Garlik DataPatrol service free of charge to all new customers until November 30. The service endeavours to alert those who have recently lost their mobile devices to the risk of fraud before it happens. The DataPatrol function works by ceaselessly scanning the internet for personalised details 0f customers – e-banking numbers, for example – before advising the customer on courses of action to prevent that information being used illegally.
Losing your phone is never smart, but it could be witless without the help of Churchill.