How to Protect Your Identity, Finances If You Lose Your Phone

Take these steps to protect your identity and financial information on your phone.

A man looking at a stock app on his phone.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lose your smartphone and you could have more to contend with than missed calls and messages, a lost contact list and Wordle withdrawal. Anyone who finds your lost phone will have an opportunity to access your finances, steal your identity or both.

Think of your smartphone as part wallet, part computer. If someone were to access your online-bank account or eBay application, for instance, the funds in your checking account could be gone in minutes. Thieves could also get information from your email messages as well as reset passwords for your online accounts and then retrieve them from your email account. Your contacts could also become targets for phishing schemes.

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Lisa Gerstner
Editor, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine

Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.

With contributions from