Your most dangerous possession? Your smartphone [telecom]

Your most dangerous possession? Your smartphone

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter January 11, 2011

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Forget what's in your wallet -- beware your smartphone. It's becoming one of your most dangerous possessions.

If your phone was stolen a few years ago, the thief could make prank calls and read your text messages. Today, that person can destroy your social life -- you said what on Facebook?! -- and wreak havoc on your finances.

Now that smartphones double as wallets and bank accounts -- allowing users to manage their finances, transfer money, make payments, deposit checks and swipe their phones as credit cards -- they are very lucrative scores for thieves. And with 30% of phone subscribers owning iPhones, BlackBerrys and Droids, there are a lot of people at risk.


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Reply to
Monty Solomon
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I guess it's easier to be a victim than a responsible person. It is actually possible to possess one of those gadgets without any sensitive applications on it whatsoever. I've had an iPhone for 25 months now. If it were lost or stolen it would be a big yawn. Let's see...oh yes, I would have to change the security code on my wireless router at home.

Reply to
Sam Spade

I am much less vulnerable, because I'm somewhat of a Luddite. My mobile phone is a Motorola C155 from Tracfone. All it does is voice and text messages. No camera. No Internet. And my only use of text is when Tracfone updates my subscription information via a text message. No outgoing texts. And that's the way I like it.

If I lost my mobile phone, the only information they could get from it would be my phone directory. (Hmmm, maybe I should erase that directory and carry around a list of numbers in my wallet. Nah, I guess not.)


***** Moderator's Note *****

If you lose the phone, that list would come in very handy. The one feature I would like to see on mobile phones is the ability to import

*and* *export* the directory, via a SMS if need be, but preferably with a USB cord.

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to

It's a bit (well, a lot) like loading up you car with all your important documents (because "it's convenient") and then acting surprised if the car gets stolen and the naughty person who nicked it uses the documents to empty your bank account or have the car run red lights.

Then again, I suppose anyone with any sense would report the device as stolen as soon as they found out and get it WIPED immediately by the network provider - as all of these devices have this function.

Reply to
David Clayton

Our moderator observes:

Isn't that standard?

I use an old Motorola V3 Razr for the two or three calls I might make or receive in a month. (Can't understand all you folks paying those huge smartphone charges each month to the rapacious cellular companies). It easily backs up and restores what Motorola terms the Contacts list, via USB or Bluetooth. Ditto for my wife's Samsung T219.

Are you saying this isn't a facility available for every phone in the world???


***** Moderator's Note *****

It's not on the phones Virgin Mobile uses AFAIK.

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
Arthur Shapiro


I have a little USB device that I can put a SIM card into and Import/Edit/Export the stored contacts, but it isn't as handy as doing it directly through the phone.

It does give you the ability to have a backup of the contacts to load into a new SIM if you lose the other one.

Reply to
David Clayton

Sure it's an *available* facility on most near every phone, just as A/C is an *available* option on most automobiles.

But if it wasn't part of your phone's (or car's) equipment at purchase time, good luck getting it installed *after* purchase -- sometimes you can, but sometimes you can't (all depends how easy it is to find requisite drivers and/or software -- and, perhaps, cables).

Case in point: LG cu400. I have that handset, and the matching USB data cable, but neither Windows nor LG's web site seem to be able to provide appropriate drivers for that cable.

'Nother case in point: the old Nokia 6610. Nokia actually offers phone-reading software, and a serial data cable (with working Windows driver files), but the phone-reading software only handles the *primary* number associated with a given directory item; and for backing up messages, it handles only SMS messages, not MMS ones; and as for Calendar or ToDo list items, "Fuhgeddit," it "don' do dat".

Cheers, -- tlvp

Reply to

I have a Moto V195S, somewhat ubiquitous worldwide in 2005 and 2006 as it's quad frequency GSM. It's made in China and has withstood the not-so-gentle treatment I've given it over the years. I'll hang onto it until the main screen fails. Design wise, the external speaker is easy to sit upon, keeping me from hearing it ring, and the earpiece speaker doesn't reproduce sound all that wonderfully well when I'm receiving a poor quality transmission thanks to compression and packet loss or whatever kills audio.

Motorola would have been pleased to sell me proprietary software to copy and update my addressbook between phone and desktop computer for a price higher than my monthly cell phone bill. So, no, what should be considered to be vital software isn't included with every cell phone.

I don't store telephone numbers on the SIM card itself which doesn't allow enough information to be stored for each contact, although copying limited information to the SIM card would be a method to move some information to another cell phone.

Reply to
Adam H. Kerman

I recently go a new Windows 7 laptop, and needed drivers for my Motorola V195, took a little goggle time, but I found the drivers and the latest and greatest Motorola cellphone program on the web for free.


Reply to
Hudson Leighton Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.