Don't lose your life if you lose your smartphone at the Christmas bash

Twelve top tips to get you through to the 12 days of Christmas and back in business the other side.

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People lose more than just their reputation at the annual Christmas party. Each year thousands of mobile devices are reported lost the morning after the night before, adding more strife to the owner's sore head and a guilty conscience.

Stop and think for a minute what could happen to your personal or corporate life if your smartphone - your Blackberry, iPhone or Nokia N9x series - with no security on it got into the wrong hands.

Do you have a password on the handset that would deter an opportunist?

Are your emails, passwords, contact names and other security details lying on your phone for all to see at just the click of a switch?

Could someone pick it up and assume your identity?

If so, what can you do to make sure that you if you do lose your mobile phone or smartphone you don't lose your entire personal and corporate identity with it?

Tip One - Back-up your smartphone's data - download any important data back onto your computer with all your contact names and numbers - imagine how lost you'd be without all of these contacts.

Tip Two – If you have important and sensitive data on your smartphone that is to do with work or you hold clients details on it, then under the data protection act you are required to adequately protect this information. Therefore, get your IT department to encrypt your smartphone or any mobile device that is owned by the company, they can do this remotely - then you've nothing to worry about because no-one apart from yourself will ever be able to read it.

Tip Three - Use a strong password on your smartphone, just as you would on your laptop or work PC which combines numbers, letters and symbols.

Tip Four - Put your name and number with details of a reward on the smartphone if found and returned.

NB - This will make sure a mercenary - sorry, sympathetic – person returns the handset to you.

Tip Five - Use your smartphone's security features - such as the Personal Identification Number (PIN) number which only you know to stop others getting access to it!

Tip Six - Use your head - don't keep data on your phone that others could use against you - such as revealing pictures.

NB - this tip does not apply if you are (a) blackmailing the person being revealed, (b) have pictures of a celeb you can possibly sell to the News of the World, or (c) have pictures of Paris Hilton, as everyone's seen all of her naughty bits anyway.

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