PC Doctor July 18, 2014

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Dear PC Doctor:

I recently got a smart phone.  I use it for everything: telephone calls, the internet, banking, email, GPS, and to access work files from home.  Although my e-mail and other accounts require a password to log in, my dad says I should have a password for the phone itself.  Won’t that be a giant pain?  Will I have to key in a password every time I use my phone?

      Thanks, Sophia


Dear Sophia:

Thanks for your question.  Here’s something to think about: What would someone have access to if you left your phone at a party or on the bus?  Have you checked ‘keep me signed in’ on your Facebook account, e-mail, Amazon account or anything else?  If so, whoever finds your phone can use it to make calls, buy merchandise, or pretend to be you.  If you would prefer for that not to happen, you want to add a password to your phone.  (By the way, according to a 2012 study reported on the Today show, only half the people surveyed said they’d make an effort to find the owner of a phone and return it.)

Ultimately, it’s up to you.  These days, though, with so much of our personal information online and so many sad stories of identity theft, adding a password to lock your smart phone is one small and relatively painless step you can take to make it harder for someone to target you.

Until next time… Happy Computing!

      PC Doctor