Monday, March 9, 2015

Plan For the Loss of a Mobile Device Now

I spent a couple of days last week in New York talking with some very smart people about automated document production in the legal profession geared primarily towards pro se individuals and legal services advocates. On the way back to Ohio, I had a layover in D.C. During the flight from LaGuardia to D.C., I took a nap. I placed my tablet in the seat back pocket. Upon waking, I completely forgot that I had done this and left the plane without picking up my tablet.

It wasn't until half an hour later as I was waiting at the next gate that I realized what had happened. Fortunately, I was lucky and was able to get it back without too many problems. But, as I stood there waiting for an answer as to whether my device had been located, I began to think about what to do in the event that my device was lost. It wasn't something I had put much thought in to before. After all, I've lost more wedding rings than mobile devices (true fact).

Today's message: don't wait to think about what to do if you've lost your device. Some things to think about would include ways to locate it using GPS. Perhaps a message on the lock screen containing information about what a good Samaritan can do to return the phone. And, of course, ways to completely wipe all information from the device remotely if it isn't found and returned. This is especially important if it is a device that contains confidential information.

This latter point is worth thinking about a bit. I've pulled that trigger one time just to see how thorough a remote wipe was. It was very, very thorough. Nothing left. I had backed everything up ahead of time because I knew in advance what I was going to do. Odds are, that won't be an option if you've misplaced your phone. So, if you haven't got a backup plan you're following, probably a good time to think about that as well.

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