What is My Mobile Identity and How Can I Protect It?
In 2012, the Pew Research Center conducted a survey that found nearly half of all American adults owned a smart phone. For young adults, that figure was closer to two-thirds. The year was a landmark for the industry, as it was the first time that smart phone ownership surpassed the number of people who owned a traditional cell phone. As we become more reliant on these miniature computers, it's important to remember that everything you do on your phone contributes to your mobile identity. If that phrase sounds unfamiliar, then let's review what it means and how it can affect your lifestyle.
What Is My Mobile Identity?
When we use the term mobile identity, we don't mean a series of numbers on the back of your smart phone. The term refers more to the information stored on your mobile device and how that data is used. Today, people use their phones for everything from banking to interacting with friends to planning a vacation. Every time you enter a piece of personal information about yourself into your phone, whether it is your birth date or weekly workout schedule, it contributes to your mobile persona.
What Purpose Does It Serve?
A new smart phone is essentially a blank slate. It has no information on it aside from what manufacturers and programmers have installed. As you continue to use your device, it "learns" about you as it builds your mobile profile. This can help your phone and web applications make personal recommendations for you - for example, if you frequently shop online using your smart phone, the application you use may provide you with a list of items you would potentially find interesting. Your mobile profile also carries over into the social networks you use, which allow your friends, family and acquaintances to learn more about you by interacting with you online.
How Can I Keep My Identity Safe?
Unfortunately, building a strong mobile profile also means you may be putting your privacy at risk. If your phone falls into the wrong hands or is hacked, you may find that your personal data can be used against you. That's why safeguarding your phone by using password-protection software, anti-malware programs and a second mobile number can keep your identity intact.
Smart phones are here to stay, so make sure you are using yours wisely. The device is a great way to build up a mobile identity, but protecting your personal data should be your top priority.