Top Security Rules for your mobile phone! Updated!

Rule #1 - JUST PUT THE DAMN PHONE DOWN AND DRIVE!

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Security Beacon was started to help the average home user and small business owner become aware of, and then mitigate, some of the security risks associated with modern electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones. Our articles on such things as backup strategy, password management, encryption, firewalls, etc. are all aimed at helping you avoid having a bad day due to loss, theft or hacking of one of your digital devices. In the big picture of life though a hard drive crash or computer virus is just a minor inconvenience. Today, I am going to give you advice that can save you, your loved ones, and your friends and colleagues from having a truly tragic day or maybe even a last day among the living.

Security Rules for your mobile phone:

  • Rule #1 – Do NOT use a mobile phone while you’re driving!  That means NO texting, NO talking, NO surfing, NO GPS, NO games and NO apps!
  • Rule #1 – If you are driving you must ignore all text messages, e-mails and phone calls that come into your mobile phone. You can respond later after you are safely off the road and stopped!
  • Rule #1 – JUST PUT THE DAMN PHONE DOWN AND DRIVE!

Corollary Rules:

  • Do NOT talk or text with someone you know is driving! Do your friend, associate, or loved one a favor and tell them to turn off the phone and drive, then end the conversation!
  • If you are a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who is using a mobile phone, you should remind them of Rule #1. If they ignore you, then offer to make or receive calls or texts for them so they can concentrate on driving. If they refuse, you should simply ask them to stop and let you out!

I’m sure most of you have heard all of this before, and I congratulate those of you that have taken the advice. You can absolve yourself of guilt, and you, your friends and colleagues and many others you may never know will live a longer and happier life because of it. For those of you that have yet to take Rule #1 to heart please let me give you some background information that may sway your opinion.

There is often debate in this country about the politics and costs of war. Most people would agree that the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns have exacted a heavy toll in both life and treasure from all sides. According to iCasualties.org, the total coalition fatalities for the entire Iraq War from 2003 to 2012 was 4804. Total fatalities in Afghanistan War for the period 2001 to 2012 were 2916. Now, consider that according to NHTSA, “In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction, and an estimated 448,000 were injured.”

Unbelievable as it seems, we kill more people on our own highways every year due to driver distraction than the coalition side lost through the entire Iraq war and most of the Afghanistan operation! Distracted driving is costing us almost double the number of lives lost on 9/11 every year. Where is the outrage?

Mobile phone use is not the only cause of distraction. Stupid things like reading maps, playing with radios and GPS systems, and trying to eat while driving also contribute, but the mobile phone is now the prime cause of distraction on the road.  I’m not going to go further into the statistics here since you can find the data just as easily as I can. If you need a starting point though try this link:

http://www.distraction.gov/

If you don’t believe the government then read this story:

March 12, 2012, ABC News.com: Girlfriend’s Final Texts a Warning on Distracted Driving

and ask yourself what makes you so different or special that we won’t see a similar story about you or someone you love some day?

On an average day in this country some 15 people will lose their lives and another 1,227 or so will be injured as a result of distracted driving. Fortunately, there is something each of us can do every day to reduce these numbers. Please start today and observe Security Rule #1 for mobile phones!

Update March 22, 2012

Less than a week since I made this post we now learn that it is also dangerous to Text while walking! If you don’t believe me see this article for the proof!

March 22, 2012 – CNN.com: The perils of walking and texting

Now if this woman can walk off a pier while texting is there any chance you want to be on the road with others like her that are texting while driving? This is serious business folks. Please just put the phone down and drive! The rest of us thank you for your consideration!

Update May 14, 2012

I found this article today that again points out how people can’t seem to manage to walk and text much less drive and text!

May 14, 2012 – CBSnews.com – Texting while walking banned in N.J. Town

be sure to check out the links to the viral videos of a man who almost ran into bear while texting and a woman who fell into the mall water fountain when walking and texting.
 

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