Cell Phone Security Remember You’re Not In Your Living Room

wtopCell phones are a huge convenience and many times a great safety tool; they are also a huge safety/security liability.

Most people think they are careful about sharing personal information on a cell phone.  Think about it, you may say you would never share credit card information over a cell phone because you don’t know how secure the line is, that you would prefer to talk on a land line.  You may think cell phone security is about “who might be listening in on the other end”.  A more important consideration would be “is the person sitting next to me is listening in.”

The other day as I was out and about, running some errands. While walking in a public area I overheard a lady who was walking behind me.  Her conversation started like this:  “Hello, HELLO”.  She was so loud I gave a glance over my shoulder to check to see if she was trying to get my attention.  I realized she was not trying to get my attention; she was on her cell phone.

As I walked she continued to walk behind me and carried on her phone conversation as if she was sitting in her private living room.

The call went something like this:

Hello, HELLO, can you hear me?  Oh ok, this is Jane Doe, my daughter Mary is a patient there and we leaving on vacation tomorrow but my daughter has a cold and I would like to bring her in today before we leave.  My name again is Jane Doe, yes I live at 123 Main Street, AnyTown USA., her social is 123-45-6789, no I really need to come in today we are leaving tomorrow and will be gone for two weeks.  Ok, please call me back as soon as you can at 123-456-7890.

Now here I am a total stranger, I now know this woman’s name, address, phone number as well as the social security number of her daughter.  I also know she will be out of town for two weeks starting the next day.  The good news is I have a terrible memory and couldn’t tell you her real name, address or any other information she provided, plus I don’t care.  However, who else was around her that heard that same conversation I just heard?  Possibly some other person who has not so good intentions and willing to pick up on the free information of a house that will be empty for two weeks or maybe even the social security number of the daughter of this lady.

My point here is always be aware of your surroundings.  Don’t get so wrapped up in your own little world that you forget that you are out in public where so many other strangers could be listening in on your not so private conversation.  Personally, I would never carry on that kind of conversation out in public; there is no reason to be calling much less carrying on any type of personal conversation while out and about.  Do your phone talking personal or professional business in the privacy of your home, or a parked car.

Crime Opportunity Waiting To Happen

There are enough low life’s around looking for crimes of opportunities, there is no reason to publicly give them easy access to your personal information.   Not to mention, while this woman was on the phone she was not only verbally sharing personal information about her life, she was also totally oblivious to those around her, opening herself up for the possibility of a mugging or purse snatching.  She was a crime opportunity waiting to happen.

When you are out and about in public, stay focused on your tasks at hand.  There is no need to be on the phone as that will distract you from your surroundings.  Walk with purpose, stand up straight, keep your head up and look around you as you walk, always being aware of those around you, cars around you and watching the actions of others.  Don’t be on the phone, texting, fumbling for your keys, looking at a shopping list.

If you have kids with you teach your kids that while walking in public they must be by your side, and aware of you and what you tell them.  Teach them to be aware as well.  There may come a time when they will see something you don’t.  Also teach them to listen to you….if you see something that requires you to direct them into action they need to be behaved enough to do what they are told when they are told.  It could save their life and yours are well.

Safety Is More Important

Ladies, we have a lot to do and only so many hours in a day to do it, don’t let your busy life be more important than your personal safety or the safety of your family. Plan your day and be organized and intentional in your actions.  When you’re out and about, do your errands.  When you get back home make your phone calls