Stop Using Your Mobile Device as a Password Vault

With the variety of ways to secure and lock your phone, including biometrics, a lot of people are starting to treat their mobile phone as a secure vault for all their personal information. This often includes banking information, passwords and personal documents and photos. However, this is not a great idea.

There are a number of things you should never store on your phone in a plain, readable format. This article contains our top three things you should try to never store on your mobile phone.

The first thing you should make a habit to never keep on your phone is your passwords. Of course, this refers to keeping a plain text file, note or text message that contains a "master list" of all those complex, long password strings you created. A lot of people who otherwise follow good password practices and keep separate passwords for the accounts and services they use may be tempted to keep a list of all those passwords on their phone, thinking it's secure.

Unless you are using a dedicated password management app that can store your passwords securely, your passwords are always exposed and at risk. Your phone, like any Internet-connected device, is not some sort of impervious fortress, just because you have some sort of biometric unlock procedure in place.

Secondly, you should try to keep any banking and credit card information out of your phone. This includes never saving passwords when using browsers to execute payments and purchases. Risking a lost phone to result in someone finding all your banking and card information is not worth the convenience.

The last thing we recommend you never keep on your phone are personal pictures and documents. Those include any photos of immediate family members and any files or documents that contain personal or sensitive information relating to you or your family and close relatives.

Unlike a home computer that is much less likely to get physically stolen and is usually more vulnerable to remote attacks, your phone is a physical device you carry around. This means it's much easier for you to misplace or lose it, or for someone to steal it, whether this happens forcefully or quietly. This is why it's recommended to keep sensitive personal information and passwords out of your device, even if you have a strong phone locking mechanism in place.

October 30, 2020

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