Safety Considerations For Your Mobile Device

Protect Yourself, Your Contacts and Footage on Your Mobile Device

 

Protect yourself:

If you are concerned about your own safety and security when using your phone, you may be able to use a phone anonymously if you can purchase a prepaid (also known as Pay As You Go) phone without a contract or registering the phone with identification. However, your calls and the phone’s location can be traced through the mobile network provider. Keep the phone turned off with its battery removed when not in use, and disable the GPS application.

 

Protect your friends and contacts:

If your phone is seized, anyone can find and review all of the data on your phone including: the names of your contacts, telephone call logs, text messages sent and received, photographs, videos and audio files. If you are filming in a high-security area, delete all you can from your phone if you feel you are at risk.

 

Protect your media:

Once the incident is over, assess your situation for your personal safety, and then for the safety of your footage. In many situations, someone may not want to prevent your footage to get out to the authorities, the media or both. If you are safe but you assess a potential threat to your footage, you may have a few options other than fleeing the scene.

Whether your device has a tape or media card, you may want to either remove it and change it out, hide it or give the card to a friend to take away from the scene to safety. You may also be able to share your footage immediately (see below). This will depend on many factors including the phone you are using, your wireless provider and capabilities of your network.

 

Upload from the scene:

If you have a mobile phone or camera that can connect to the internet, use that connection! You can email photos to yourself (and a trusted friend as back-up) if you don’t want them to go public right away. This also allows you to backup your content in case your footage or device is taken at the scene. In addition to video sharing sites like YouTube where you can upload directly from your phone, you can upload to social networks like Facebook and Twitter by using MMS or email.

 

See also Access Now's "Guide to Protecting Your Identity and Security Online and When Using Mobile Phones" (PDF)

 

What’s Next? Stream Video From Your Mobile Phone

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