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This article was published April 11, 2014 at 2:06 a.m.

DEAR READERS: We can do a lot with our smartphones these days - access the Internet, social media, email, bank accounts, etc. But there is a lot of personal information stored on your phone - banking, credit cards, etc. - that can make losing your phone really scary, as well as a possible identity theft threat. Here are some hints to help protect your personal information as much as possible:

Set a password or swipe pattern on your phone. It takes only a second or two to “unlock” your phone.

Be careful what you access on your phone. You may want to monitor or check bank accounts and credit-card information on your home computer rather than doing it all on your phone.

If you lose your phone, someone may be able to find out all of your personal information. Think twice before putting all of your financial and personal information on your phone.

If you lose your phone, what information is on there? How many times do we just “speed dial” and not really have all of that information in another place? Sounds silly, but stop right now and try to remember a friend’s phone number.

Of course, call the carrier right away so it can shut down the service.

Just like with everything else, try as much as you can to take steps to protect your personal information.

Every roadblock you can throw up is a tiny step that, in the long run, may prevent you from becoming a victim of identity theft.

P.S.: While on this subject, can you state right now how many credit cards you have in your wallet? If you had to call and cancel or let the credit-card company know that there might be a problem, can you put your hands on all of the needed information?

DEAR HELOISE: I purchase bright-colored eyewear cases and wallets so that they are easy to see against the black interior of my car. I’ve “lost” numerous black items because I couldn’t see them.

  • A Reader in Ohio

DEAR READER: This is a very good hint, and also would help you find things inside a dark-lined purse or bag. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have had to “go on safari” to find just what I needed in my purse.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

MovieStyle, Pages 36 on 04/11/2014

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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