Fraud Insights: Be careful of iMugging!

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iMugging occurs when someone attacks you to steal your smart phone or tablet.  iMugging was first used to describe someone being mugged for their Apple® device, such as an iPod®, iPhone® or iPad®. Due to the popularity of these types of devices iMugging is not just limited to Apple products. Anyone with an MP3 player, smart phone or tablet is at risk.

iMugging is big business and because the stolen items are so expensive iMugging can be categorized as grand theft. It is easy for a robber to iMug someone because the expensive devices visibly distracts users.

In addition, it is simple to identify what type of device you have. Using the white headphones provided with your iPhone makes you an easy target because it can identify what type of phone you have. Being on the phone also makes you less aware of your surroundings.

Since our business requires us to be mobile, many of us use smart phones and tablets in order to stay connected with our customers. Here are a few tips to ensure you can work safely and still be responsive to your customers:

  • Password protect your device   One of the great conveniences of mobile devices is the fact you can stay logged on to your email account. Unfortunately if you are iMugged, this means the thief can also access your email. Be sure to secure the device by locking the screen requiring you to log in to access your phone.
  • Do not send non–public information from your mobile device   Keep in mind emails which are sent within the FNF network are safeguarded, but if you forward an email from your personal mobile device to a customer it might not be sent securely. You might have to wait until you are back in the office to properly encrypt an email before sending it on.
  • Do not open or click on links in suspicious emails   It is not as easy to identify a suspicious email received on a smart phone.  Before opening any emails, look at the email address or name of the sender.  If you do not recognize it consider waiting until you are at the office and working on your desktop before opening. If you do open the email and it contains a link in the body of the email – stop. Take a second look to confirm if the email has come from a trusted source. Do not click on a link if you do not know who the sender is.
  • Install anti–virus software   Mobile devices are subject to hacking just as desktop computers are. Be sure to protect your tablet or smart phone by installing anti–virus software.  Work with your Information Technology (IT) Department to find the best software for your device.
  • Familiarize yourself with the FNF Web Presence and Social Media Policy   Being mobile makes it quick and convenient to update your Facebook® page or send a Tweet with Twitter®.  Be sure you have read and understand the Company Policy to ensure compliance.

Lastly, be sure to keep your mobile device in your control at all times. Do not leave it unattended. Be aware of your surroundings. Trust your gut instincts and remember your personal safety is of utmost priority

If you are iMugged be sure to file a police report and notify your IT Manager so they can have the device shut off. Following the steps above will help ensure the only thing the robber gets away with is the device itself.

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