- Use any kind of pass code system already on the phone. Sure, it's annoying, but it creates a first line of defense in case anyone swipes your device.
- Make sure you can "brick" or wipe the phone remotely using built-in functionality, such as Apple's Find My iPhone, or a security program such as Lookout. That way, if the thief breaks the code, there's no information he or she can steal.
Still, those systems aren't perfect, and your phone still knows an awful lot about you.
Here are three key things your phone may know, and how to stop someone else from accessing that information.
Financial Fact No. 1: Your bank login information
Accessing your bank account through an app is easy, but that means it's also easy for a thief, especially if you skip the step of putting in your login and password each time.
"A lot of apps are storing usernames and passwords in the apps themselves," says Capps. "Not all the app authors are taking the right sorts of protections to protect those credentials when the customer isn't using the app itself."
And if you use the same password and login for every single financial account in your life, hackers can grab access to those accounts, too.
What to do: If you're going to use a banking app, make sure you set it up to sign in each and every time. Don't let the app store that information for you. Also, make sure the app logs you out when you close it. If it doesn't, do it yourself every time.
Financial Fact No. 2: Your Social Security number and answers to security questions
If you store this information anywhere on your phone, it's accessible to anyone who gains access to that phone.
"I've seen cases where people record Social Security numbers in their contacts," says Capps.
In that case, not only is it in your phone, but if you back up your contact list to a service like iCloud, it's now in the cloud and vulnerable there, he says.