HOW TO Protect your SmartPhone

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Smart phones are great tools for centralizing your resources.  People regularly utilize applications on their smart phones to store social, personal, and financial data.  Unfortunately a smart phone’s wealth of private data presents an enticing target to hackers and identity thieves who could profit from stealing your information. Androids, in recent news, appear particularly vulnerable to malicious applications aimed at stealing the owner’s personal information.  Here are three easy steps you can take to protect your smart phone from malicious applications:

1.Research applications before you download them to your smart phone
protect-smartphoneKeep yourself informed of the companies that produce dependable applications.  The App Store on Apple’s website offers comprehensive reviews and customer feedback on a wide variety of applications. The Android Market provides the same information for Android users. Check that the application was created by a large and well-known company, or if the application has a good track record with consumers.

For instance, if you want to keep tabs on your current financial information, you may want to download an application offered by your bank before considering a third-party application that tracks your bank account information.  However there are dependable financial tracking applications outside of those created by large banks, such as Mint, available for Android and iPhone users.  When unsure about an application’s track record, stay away from applications with low user ratings or those produced by companies with dubious reputation.

2.Utilize applications that monitor the security of your smart phone

Security applications ensure that you’re proactive about protecting your smart phone from exploitation.  Lookout Mobile Security is one of many security applications for the Android operating system that works to protect your smart phone against harmful applications which can corrupt your phone with software that could compromise your personal information.

Lookout Mobile Security also backs up your data on a regular basis in the event that your data is irrevocably lost, erased, or stolen.  The application will also help you track your smart phone if someone has stolen it, and with the premium service you can even remotely wipe your phone’s data to thwart identity theft on your stolen phone.

Apple’s Find my iPhone is a free security application that allows the user to track their stolen or misplaced iPhone using GPS.

3.Be smart about the information you keep on your smart phone

Remember that your smart phone is only as vulnerable as you allow it to be, and that rule extends not only to the applications you choose to download but to the information you choose to enter into those applications.  If you’re going to store sensitive data in your smart phones, try using different passwords across your various online accounts.  If you’re connecting to a Wi-Fi network on your smart phone, make sure the network is secure before conducting any business on your smart phone involving personal information.