Advanced cell phone technology has made life easier in many ways, but it has also made smart phone users more vulnerable to identity theft. No matter where you are, you can use your smart phone to access your financial accounts, do transactions, and even file your taxes. Most people put passwords and antivirus software on their computers, but many do not realize that the same careful security measures should be taken with smart phones as well.
Do you store sensitive information on your smart phone, such as account numbers, PINs, or other financial data? If it is not password-protected and you lose your phone or someone steals it, the results could be devastating.
Also, if you use public wireless “hot spots,” be aware that criminals sometimes set up these locations and use free Wi-Fi to capture sensitive data and hack into mobile devices. Even just using your cell phone in public and carelessly discussing sensitive data can compromise you. You can be overheard and the data used to steal your identity.
Best advice for smart phone users: protect yourself by putting strong passwords on your mobile device(s) and by accessing the Web through a phone carrier’s data service rather than free wireless public locations.