Westchester is a hotbed of smartphone use, so the advice in this post is even more important here than most places. Across the country, close to 50% of mobile users now have smartphones, and the number is growing every day. In Westchester I don’t know the exact figure, but in areas with similar demographics it’s as high as 65-75%. So if you are one of the many smartphone users here in our county, take a few minutes and find out how to better secure your phone and your identity!
The convenience of mobile devices also comes with risk. As you check-in, text, share photos, and increasingly run your life on the go, you may inadvertently expose private information or make yourself more likely to be a victim of a crime. Here are four things you should be aware of as you use new mobile and social technology that might spare you expensive or embarrassing lessons:
1. Beware of how often you "check in" through social media.
Apps like Foursquare and websites like Facebook allow you to "check in" when you're out and about in the world, effectively broadcasting where you are... and where you're not. Be especially sensitive to checking in from airports and locations far from home. Enterprising thieves can use this information to target your home or business.
2. Beware of the photos you're sharing.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what are your pictures on Facebook saying to friends, family, and co-workers? Just like checking in when you're out of town, vacation photos posted in real time can inadvertently let people know you're not home.
3. Remember to log out of public computers
If you've ever checked your email in an internet cafe or hotel computer, did you remember to log out? Closing a browser window isn't usually enough. People who open the browser can often waltz right into your email account because your "session" is still active. Remember to click "log out" or "exit my account" any time you log into private accounts through public machines.
4. Protect your devices
Smart phones now carry the sort of data you used to keep under lock and key in your home office or closet safe. If your devices are lost or stolen, how much of your private information could be exposed through your device?
First and foremost, add password protection to your device in case it is lost. Most have a setting you can activate which forces someone enter a code before access the apps and data on the device.
Second, consider adding an app or service which will track your device via GPS if it is lost or stolen. Depending on your device, there are an array of options to help locate your smart phone if it disappears. To find an app specific to your device, try Googling (without quotation marks): "app tracks stolen [device name]" where [device name] is replaced with your brand of smart phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.).
I hope you got something useful out of this post!
Author:Eric Schatz Phone: 914-274-7021 Dated: February 26th 2013 Views: 10,750 About Eric: I help people buy and sell homes in Ossining, Briarcliff Manor and the surrounding areas of Westches...
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Schatz Realty Group is a local family-run real estate brokerage providing Westchester real estate services for 50 years.
We help people buy and sell homes in Westchester because we love our lives here. Our primary goal is to help you love yours even more! That could mean helping you get the best price for your home, or guiding you towards the home of your dreams. Either way, our priority is to make the process as enjoyable and stress free for you as possible.
We can't and don't make decisions for anyone, and won't for you. We will present you with all of your options so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.
Contact us any time for a free consultation to explore how we can help you. Never any obligation. Never any pressure. Just good, worthwhile conversation! We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Schatz Realty Group, previously Albert P Schatz Realtors, are Westchester real estate agents and brokers. The Schatz Realty office is located in Ossining, and the office specializes in homes for sale in Westchester, Ossining homes and rentals, and houses, condos, co-ops and rental apartments in Briarcliff Manor, Croton on Hudson, Tarrytown, Cortland Manor, Montrose, and the surrounding areas. Our depth of local real estate knowledge allows us to get you the best price for your home.
The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze, held annually at the Van Cortlandt Man
"Eric was very friendly and showed us exactly the types of houses we were looking for in our price range, some newer and some older. He wasn't pushy like many salesmen and worked as a team with my wife and I. He is so knowledgeable about construction and historic house reconstruction that in every house he was able to point out good things and bad about the construction and filled us in on a lot of little tips that we hadn't thought of.
When it came time to negotiate, he negotiated strongly and quickly with the sellers. He got us a lower price than we thought we'd get including what he thought to counter offer which was lower than their lowest preferred price, he talked them further down. He also helped get the house closed in just over 2 months, which is not easy to do in Westchester. He continues to be gladly available now after we've moved in whenever we have zoning questions or need a referral for work to be done, etc. Overall we couldn't have asked for a better experience in the daunting task of purchasing a home because of Eric."