More and more people are using their smartphones for online shopping and other financial transactions. It is important to remember, however, that is just as important to use proper security precautions on your smartphone as you do with your computer, laptop or other electronic devices. Theft of smartphones is a frequent occurrence, particularly during the holiday season. If you have not protected your smartphone properly, all of the information stored on your smartphone becomes available to the identity thief who can use this information to make you a victim of identity theft. Clicking on infected links or downloading attachments infected with malware can also cause your smartphone’s information to be turned over to an identity thief at your extreme peril.
Start with the basics. Make sure you have a complex password for your phone. Too many people do not even use one. Also, have your phone time out and locked after a period of time so that if your phone is stolen it will not readily be usable by a criminal stealing your phone. In addition, you should make sure that you are using encryption software, anti-virus software and anti-malware software on your smartphone and keep these programs up to date with the latest patches. Finally, only get your apps from legitimate sources, such as the Apple App store or Android Market. Infected apps are a major source of identity theft.