News From Our Blog

Data breaches at companies seem to be in the news frequently these days. Learn how to protect yourself.

What to do if Your Cell Phone is Lost or Stolen

Mobile phones are a vital part of life. You may store passwords, account numbers, phone numbers, addresses all in this one device. If your phone is lost or stolen, your privacy, identity, and bank accounts could also be in jeopardy.

Cell phone carriers and manufacturers have taken steps to protect you, in these situations. The carriers manage stolen phone databases, where they can record your phone’s unique ID number when you report it missing. This makes it impossible for your lost or stolen phone to be reactivated on their network (also called “bricking”).

There are also apps available to help you locate your phone. Take steps to protect your phone’s content and your privacy:

  • Set up a PIN or password to access your phone’s home screen and settings.

  • Export and backup your sensitive information onto an external device, like a USB drive.

  • Report your lost or stolen phone to your cell phone carrier and the police immediately. Keep your cell phone provider’s phone number in a separate place so that you can report your lost phone. Ask for written confirmation from your carrier to verify that you reported your phone missing.

  • If you report your phone lost or stolen to your carrier, you are responsible for all fees incurred before you report it, but no charges after you report it missing.

  • Ask your carrier to remotely delete the content, contacts and apps on your phone.

Get more information on lost cell phones from the FCC

Keep Your Personal Information Safe Online

The Internet provides unprecedented levels of connectivity and information across many channels, such as email and social networks, and it also helps us accomplish everyday tasks like paying bills, filing taxes and much more. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), which encourages you to always pay attention when you’re sharing information on the internet.

NCSAM is a reminder that emerging cyber threats require shared responsibility to help create a safer cyber environment. Each week of October has focused on a specific cyber security theme; this week focuses on the need to develop cyber security education programs to help train the next generation.

The Department of Homeland Security suggests the following tips to help keep you and your information safe online:

  • Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Learn more about National Cyber Security Awareness Month and find out about all of the safety themes highlighted this month.

The Truth About Cell Phones and the National Do-Not-Call List

You may have received an email telling you cell phones will start to get unwanted telemarketing calls unless you add your wireless number to a special Do-Not-Call Registry.

However, placing telemarketing calls to wireless phones is, and always has been, illegal.

It is unlawful for anyone to place a call using an automatic telephone dialing system or a prerecorded voice message to a telephone number assigned to a paging service, mobile telephone service or any service for which the called party is charged for the call. This applies whether or not your cell phone number is listed on a Do-Not-Call list.

If you receive unwanted calls that you believe violate the do-not-call rules, you can file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.