4 Ways To Protect Your Smartphone From Identity Theft

Feb 9, 2012

By SFLCAuthor

Nearly one in three Americans owns a smartphone, according to fall 2010 research compiled by the Nielsen Company. "Our phones are used more and more to organize our lives," says Nikki Junker, social media coordinator and victim advisor with the Identity Theft Resource Center. And their importance will only grow. By 2013, more than 53 million consumers are expected to use mobile banking, according to data from TowerGroup.

As the use of smartphones increases, con artists are finding ways to access personal information. "Smartphone security is going to become even more important," says Junker.

Protect your smartphone and the information that's transmitted over it with these security pointers.

1. Create a complex password. Your first line of defense is a strong password, one that combines letters, numbers, and symbols. Test the strength of your password here.

2. Seek backup/wiping services. Not having these services is one of the biggest mistakes smartphone users make, says Junker, adding that they're easy to obtain through the phone's manufacturer or your wireless provider. A backup program sends data on your phone to your home computer. A wiping program erases information from your phone if it is lost or stolen.

3. Install security software. Treat your smartphone like you would your home computer, Junker says. Install security software that contains an antivirus, and be diligent about downloading updates as they're available.

4. Take action. If your phone is missing, call your carrier as soon as possible to report that it's been lost or stolen, and have your data wiped. If you think you're a victim of identity theft, Junker advises taking these three steps:

  • Place a 90-day fraud alert on credit reports
  • File a police report
  • File a fraud affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission

The Identity Theft Resource Center offers more tips on smartphone security.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.

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