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5 Things You Should Never Store in Your Phone to Prevent Identity Theft, Blackmail, and Extortion

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Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

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You can’t argue with the convenience of having your schedule, method of payment, entertainment hub, GPS, and communication with the world at your fingertips.

But while smartphones certainly offer the storage space for our data, they are far from guardians of the personal information fortress.

Even a well-protected phone is vulnerable to potential violations from bad actors looking to exploit our data.

While taking precautionary measures to safeguard our data is vital, we can also minimize the risk of information exposure by refraining from storing sensitive data on our smartphones.

In this guide, we will discuss 5 things that you should never store on your smartphone to protect yourself from hacking, identity theft, and blackmail. 

1. Sensitive Personal Information

Personal identification information (or PII for short), is the most critical thing to not store on your smartphone.

Sensitive Personal Information

Any document that can identify who you are, your residence, and anything else that can be used to replicate or spoof your identity in a credible enough manner to make you vulnerable to exploitation. 

  • Driver’s licenses
  • Passport data 
  • Social security numbers
  • Birth certificates
  • Tax returns
  • Health data
  • Sexual orientation
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religious/Political beliefs

All of the above contain information that could be used to steal your identity and dry up your financial funds.

2. Banking Information

Regarding draining bank funds, financial data is the second most important thing to avoid storing on your phone.

Banking Information

While most people use banking apps for their day-to-day financial transactions, those apps are highly encrypted, so they protect data much more effectively than users simply keeping it on their phones.

Keeping your app’s login information, routing numbers, and account details readily available is risky.

This information could allow someone else to access your finances and make unauthorized transactions. Even if you contact your bank, you might not be able to get your money back.

3. PINs and Passwords

Between a litany of subscription services, bank accounts, medical portals, and personal app protections, the average user needs to remember dozens of passwords.

PINs and Passwords

Most people don’t have the mental bandwidth to keep them stored in their minds for easy accessibility at any time, so many users fall into the flawed practice of storing their information on their phones in an unprotected, unencrypted manner.

This is very risky since the wrong person whose eyes fall on this list is just a picture or screenshot away from being able to access anything.

Therefore, any passwords or PINs used to enter services or apps should be stored in secure password management apps.

4. Work-Related Data

Storing work data on personal smartphones is very risky for the employer as it potentially exposes them to data loss, theft, and/or exploitation.

Work Document

Sensitive corporate information getting out without a controlled approach or context can be damaging, or even ruinous to a company.

This is not something they will overlook when discovering the reason for the data leak occurring.

When communicating about work matters or sharing work-related data, make sure to use only secure channels and means of data transfer approved by the employer.

5. Private Conversations

One of the most common uses for smartphones is personal communication. However, it is also very important to keep such communications in check and out of the potential sight of others.

Private Conversations

Your personal business being exposed publicly can have devastating personal and professional ramifications. This is especially vital if the communications include explicit material. 

6. Private NSFW Photos and Videos

Whether you want to explore your body or keep a memorable moment forever, it’s never a good idea to save private NSFW photos and videos on your phone.

Explicit content

By doing so, you’re making yourself susceptible to hacking, sexual extortion, blackmail, or accident sharing.

If you must keep those photos or videos, consider putting them in password-protected folders.

Otherwise, delete all explicit content of yourself or anybody that you have on your phone.

Remember: Never share explicit photos or videos of yourself or others without their consent. Doing so can have serious legal and emotional consequences.

Wrap Up

Protecting your personal information is paramount.

Not taking careful action to guard your smartphone against unauthorized invaders is bad enough, but it’s worse when there is actually something of value for them to find on your device.

It can result in financial loss, ruined credit, professional hardships, embarrassment, personal problems, and a host of other unwanted, stressful dilemmas.

For those reasons, anything that does not need to be kept on your smartphone should not be, especially personal information. 

Questions? Concerns? Please use the comment section below.

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

Herby Jasmin

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