What to do if your phone gets lost, or is stolen?

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Losing one's phone can cause panic and confusion for the owner, leading to decisions that could worsen the situation.

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Photo from Pixabay

As emotions like anxiety and sadness can make it difficult to decide what to do first, the Department of Information and Communications Technology-Cybersecurity Bureau (DICT-Cybersecurity) shared six steps the public should take if they have lost or had their phones stolen.

In a social media post, the agency emphasized that in such scenarios, individuals should "lock and erase their phones," highlighting it as the most critical step.

"This is easily done remotely through the phone finder app, so even if a hacker attempts to bypass the passcode or biometric authentication, they won't be able to access the device or the information stored on it," DICT-Cybersecurity said.

The bureau also stressed the importance of "changing all stored passwords" and "calling your service provider."

DICT-Cybersecurity emphasized the importance of immediately changing passwords for all linked online accounts, including social media, email, and banking apps.

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DICT-Cybersecurity

It advised creating strong, unique passwords that are difficult to crack.

The bureau also highlighted that promptly contacting the service provider allows for the swift disabling of the owner's Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card, cutting off the phone's connection to cellular networks and data services.

This critical step prevents unauthorized access, impersonation, and theft of one-time passwords used for two-factor authentication.

Meanwhile, it advised the public to "call the bank."

"If you have financial apps and credentials saved on your lost or stolen phone, immediately contact your bank to freeze your accounts," it said, noting that this action will block unauthorized access and protect hard-earned money.

Moreover, the agency stressed the importance of "alerting contacts" and "filing a police report."

This ensures that your important contacts—family, friends, and colleagues—are informed about the loss or theft of your phone.

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DICT-Cybersecurity

Additionally, filing a police report creates an official record that can be valuable for various purposes.

The steps outlined by DICT-Cybersecurity are crucial not only for locating the missing phone but also for safeguarding the personal data stored on the device.

This is particularly significant as electronic identification becomes more established through eGov App, where an individual's phone serves as an electronic identity.

READ:

https://mb.com.ph/2023/6/2/dict-kicks-off-2023-nat-l-ict-month-celebration-with-launch-of-e-gov-super-app