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Can You Outsmart Your Smartphone?

Safety tips to protect your mobile device:

  • Know the default settings of your Smartphone, if there are settings you are unsure about turn them off. Better safe than sorry.
  • Check to see if your phones operating system has encryption available. This can be used to protect the user’s personal data in case of theft or loss.
  • Users should look at reviews of the developer/company who published the application before purchasing.
  • Review and understand the permissions you are giving when you download applications.
  • Passcode protect your mobile device, be sure to enable the screen lock feature after a few minutes of inactivity.
  • Obtain malware protection for your mobile device. Here are some reviews for the best antivirus and malware for your smartphone.
  • Be aware of applications that enable Geo-location (this includes Photos in iPhone, social media especially). The application will track the user's location anywhere. This application can be used for marketing, but can be used by malicious attackers, raising concerns of assisting a possible stalker and/or burglaries. This video examples what was previously stated.
  • Although jailbreaking or rooting your Smartphone sounds “cool” or “unique”, you can cause a lot of damage. When you jailbreak or root your phone, you remove certain restrictions put in place by the device manufacturer or cell phone carrier, this often involves exploiting significant security vulnerabilities and increases the possibility of an attack on the device. It allows any compromise to take full control of the device, and any information you have stored.
  • Do not allow your device to connect to unknown wireless networks. In some cases it is better to leave your WiFi off.
  • If you decide to sell your device or trade it in, make sure you wipe the device (reset it to factory default) to avoid leaving personal data on the device.
  • Smartphones require updates to run applications and firmware. If users neglect this, it increases the risk of having their device hacked or compromised.
  • Avoid clicking on or downloading software or links from unknown sources. This includes applications from an "app" store.
  • Use the same precautions on your mobile phone as you would on your computer when using the Internet.

If you have been a victim of an internet scam or have received an e-mail that you believe was an attempted scam, please file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.