Consumer Watch: Protecting your smartphone


by Andy Treinen

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM

(WHAS11) -- What would be do without our Smart phones? From contacts to banking, they carry all the information we need to get through the day. But, what steps are you taking to make sure all that information doesn't fall into the wrong hands? Good Morning Kentuckiana’s Andy Treinen has some tips for protecting your smartphone in today's Consumer Watch.

Chances are your smartphone contains some of your life's most important numbers.  Phone numbers, birthdays, passwords and maybe even social security or bank account numbers are all stored on people phones. It's convenient to store so much information in one place, but with wireless threats on the rise, you need to keep your personal data secure.

A recent Consumer Reports survey found almost 40 percent of smartphone users did not take the most basic security steps, like using a screen lock, backing up data, or downloading apps that can locate a lost phone or remotely erase information.

With help from Consumer Reports, here are a few simple steps to secure your smartphone.

First, come up with a strong pass code. Four digits are standard, but longer codes that include letters and symbols are more secure.

Be cautious when it comes to downloading apps. Stick with well-known, reputable app retailers, and be suspicious if an app asks for access to phone features like location tracking.

If you're using Wi-Fi, avoid making financial transactions over any networks that are not secure. Transactions over open Wi-Fi networks can be intercepted.

Phone users should also keep an eye out for text spam. Links included in these messages could bring you to a malicious website that will either ask for personal information or download software onto your device and while the GPS on these handheld devices and location tracking are great when you need directions, disable them when you don't need them.
Remember, someone could be tracking you.

These days, some people carry multiple phones and others go though smartphones faster than shoes. Before you get rid of your old phone, remove the memory card, wipe any personal information, and be sure to restore the factory settings. This will help to ensure that once the phone is out of your hands, your personal information doesn’t fall into someone elses.

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