Do you know what your phone is worth? According to recent research, the average value of a recycled phone has topped £100 for the first time. Good news for people recycling phones and to find out the value of your current handset, you might wish to click here.
However, we suspect that headline figure significantly undervalues the handset in your pocket for a number of reasons:
- Think of all of the data on your phone. Pictures, messages, emails. All of this information could potentially be of value to a fraudster, far beyond the actual cash that can be generated from the hardware itself.
- Now think about cross referencing this information with easily accessible public profiles on social networks. Take a simple example. Your phone is stolen, it is then used to cross reference you with information held on social networking sites. This can help locate you and even give a fraudster an idea of what you are doing at any time. Imagine how useful even a simple phrase like “working away until the weekend” or posting a location status could be?
- So the fraudster could now know your location, your mobile number, the numbers of your contacts, have access to your emails and potentially know your address. All of this information is invaluable to a fraudster.
In this environment, it is astonishing that up to half of phone users do not use the lock on their phone to secure it, effectively leaving an open channel for fraudsters to access confidential information.
Accentuating the positives, people check that their phones are to hand far more often than they check their wallets, which does at least mean that, should you have a handset stolen, you will discover this quickly. But by then the damage could be done.
The digital footprint available to fraudsters from an unsecured mobile phone and publically available social networking information is a goldmine to fraudsters and this emphasises the importance of having a joined up approach to personal anti-fraud measures in the 21st Century. In the late 20th Century we were advised to shred important documents. A far more proactive and resilien