If you can access the web or check email from your mobile device, you could be at risk.
Smartphone owners are more susceptible to identity theft. Many smartphone owners do not password protect their device, which can store sensitive data such as financial account information. It is also common to connect to public Wi-Fi networks when on the go with your smartphone. Hackers often use or even set up these networks in order to gain access to your device. Use these tips to protect your mobile device:
- Don't click on links sent via text message or email from people you don't know.
- Only download applications found in your device's app store.
- Ensure your mobile device has the latest anti-virus and anti-trojan software installed. Devices, especially Android, should have anti-virus software. This protects the device from malware that comes with an app that's downloaded.
- Always lock your device when not in use or set up your device to automatically lock after a few minutes of inactivity.
- Set a PIN or keylock that will be needed to access the device.
- Turn Bluetooth off when you are not using it.
- Only attempt to connect to encrypted Wi-Fi networks that require a password.
- Reset your mobile device to factory settings before selling or recycling it.
- Delete any text messages that may contain personal information or account numbers and regularly clear browser history.
- Only download applications from trusted websites.
- Keep your operating system and security software current.
- Do not attempt to "jailbreak" your mobile device. Jailbreaking occurs when software is downloaded onto a smartphone that overrides the limitations set in place by the phone's manufacturer. This allows a user to download third-party applications and customize the phone beyond its normal capabilities. Jailbreaking a phone increases a user's chances of downloading malware or other fraudulent apps and eliminates the option to install important updates to the phone's operating system.