You don’t store any confidential information or account numbers or your Social Security number on your phone – you just use it for calling, text messaging, and sending and receiving emails. You don’t even browse the Internet, and you certainly don’t use it for anything like online banking. So why do you need a strong password? Here’s one reason that you might.
Let’s assume you lose your phone and it falls into the hands of someone who’s less than honest – let’s just call him Steve for now. You haven’t protected your phone with a password, or it’s only a weak password. But you’re not unduly worried – even if Steve gets access to your phone, there’s nothing sensitive for him to find. But …
Steve waits until an email comes in, and he now knows your email address. Then, he browses to bank websites and requests a password reset. After a few attempts, he finds where you bank. The security question isn’t too difficult to figure out – you probably posted enough information to Facebook and/or LinkedIn for him to guess the answer – and the bank sends a password reset email to the address it has in its database … which is picked up on the phone. Before you know it, Steve’s flying off to Hawaii on a ticket paid for with your life savings.
All because you had a weak (or no) password on your cell phone.