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Smartphone Users Beware!

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Education,Entertainment on November 4, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , ,

 Your Identity is at Risk

Smartphones got their name for a reason: they let us send e-mails, login to social networks, buy products, check our bank account balance, and do countless other things – all from the palms of our hands. Thus, it’s not an exaggeration to say that for many people, their smartphone is their life. After all, it contains all of their most important personal information.

You probably know where this is going. While it’s a good thing to have your credit cards, contacts, passwords, etc. all on one handy-dandy device, it becomes a really bad thing if you lose your phone. Whereas in the past an identity thief would have to break into your house and steal a huge stack of papers from your file cabinet, now all they have to do is turn the phone on that you accidentally left at the bus stop.

That’s probably why a recent study by Javelin Research found that smartphone users are 33% more likely to become victims of identity theft than non-users. And things are made worse by the fact that 62% of smartphone users don’t use password protection. If you think it’s annoying to enter a pin whenever you use your phone, just think how much more annoying it will be to change every single password and to deal with fraudulent debts on your credit. Secure your smartphone with a pin – preferably something more difficult to guess than “1234.”

You should also be wary of any apps you download. Many have access to all of your personal files – right down to your billing address and Visa number – and they can even install malware on your phone. In fact, you might consider getting an antivirus just to be safe. Either way, make sure you always surf reputable sites and that they have a “padlock”symbol (meaning they are SSL secure) when you’re entering any financial information.

Speaking of security, never connect to open Wi-Fi connections on your smartphone. If you plug into the wrong network even for a minute, you’re basically giving hackers your personal information on a silver platter. And finally, cover your back by clearing your tracks: don’t store login information for websites on your phone. If you’re smart about your smartphone, you can outsmart anyone who wants to steal your identity.

On the Money, Sufen Wang, Wang Solutions