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Getting Smart About Smartphones

Our mobile phone has become a handheld computer. Think of the information your smartphone has: call history, text messages, your location, contacts, photos, videos, and your web browsing history. Think about what it can do: among other things, stream movies, taxis, shopping and talking to you.

If, like many Americans, you say your life is on your cell phone, it’s time to understand how you use it. Your safety depends on it.

Smartphone risk: reality check

Smartphones (and tablets and other portable devices that have internet access) pose privacy risks just like their desktop counterparts. They can be targets of malware and spyware, vulnerable to hackers. Even so, many consumers do not use security software to protect their cell phones or even passwords.

Smartphones have the personal information we want to keep private, such as text messages, photos, and friends’ contact information. If you use your mobile phone for online banking, your account password may be stored on your phone. And some apps that make our phone so useful are found to capture our wide range of personal information.

Smartphone Privacy: Own it

Even if you carry your cellphone with you, your privacy may be at risk. Avoid complacency and take steps to protect yourself today. See the basic tips below, then go to the “More Information” section at the bottom of this table for more resources.

First, protect yourself

Be careful when using your cellphone in public places: smartphones are valuable. Criminals snatch distracted text messages and interlocutor calls, often injuring victims. The stolen smartphone is not only valuable in the resale market, it also identifies the thief who committed the crime using stored personal information.

Turn off the phone in the driver’s seat. If you need to make a call or send a text message, please continue. Turn off your smartphone when you are behind the wheel to save lives – including your own.

Protect your phone

  • Know your phone at any time. Do not allow people you do not know to access it – just a few minutes to install malware, spyware or tracking applications.
  • Protect your phone with a password or PIN. Install security software. Make sure to keep the software updated
  • Keep your phone’s operating system up-to-date. This will protect your patch for newly discovered bugs or hacks.
  • Use an application or service that lets you remotely wipe out information that is lost or stolen from your phone. You have to set it up in advance before the phone is lost.
  • Back up the contents of your smartphone to your computer or move the cloud storage. Equipment manufacturers and other companies to provide mobile cloud storage.
  • You can also better protect your privacy by using your smartphone’s Settings.
  • Auto-lock: The phone is small and easily lost. Set you automatically lock within five minutes, with the password to unlock.

Check out the location service

  • Positioning services make life easier. How they are on our device App provides accurate directions, traffic updates, nearby restaurants and weather reports. However, your app can access your location even if you do not use it.

You do not have to keep providing your location. Adjust your settings and control location services:

  • On Android phones and devices, go to Settings, then select a location and uncheck these boxes. When your application requests access to your location, you can choose whether or not to grant that location.

You can also choose the accuracy of the location report you want. Location can come from GPS plus WiFi and cellular networks, or just one or the other. Keep in mind that higher accuracy will use more battery, so protecting your privacy also protects your battery life.

  • On iPhone and iPad (iOS6 and later), go to Settings, Privacy, and Location Services. You can turn it off. Or you can choose which features and applications to access your location.

You may receive notifications from apps requesting the use of your location in the background. To protect privacy, select “Not allowed.”

  • On a Windows phone, you can disable all access to the location information through the application and collect your location through the Windows Phone Location Services. Go to Settings, then select a location, then switch the location switch to Off.
  • On BlackBerry 10, select the Settings icon on the home screen, then select the Location Services list and use the location. Service Toggle Button Turns the Location Service on / off.
  • On BlackBerry 7 and earlier devices, on the home screen, select Options, then select Devices and select Location Settings. Use the toggle switch to turn location service and GPS help on / off.

Check your network

o Pay attention to banking where you purchased your latte. Free public Wi-Fi is generally unsafe and information thieves know this. They sit in cafes, shopping malls and other public places and monitor how you use the internet. Your password, account number, and photos may be hacked. When using Wi-Fi hotspots, keep shopping.

Check out the application

More than a million mobile apps are currently available. They let us do a lot of good and useful things. They also have access to our personal information and even our phone features. Pause and check out the latest cool app features before you download it.

 Find a link to the application’s privacy policy in the app store / store. Look carefully at the policies to understand the personal information they collect and how they use and share personal information. If you do not like what you see, do not download the app.

 On Android phones, the Permissions tab on the Apps page in the Google Play Store shows the information and features your app can access on your phone. For example, it might show that the app can call and charge. If you do not like these permissions, do not download the app.

 Once you have downloaded an application, be aware of any notification that requires you to have access to your location or other information.

 After downloading the app, find privacy policy and privacy settings. You can choose which information to collect or how to use it.

 California law requires the application to have a privacy policy.1 If you are unable to locate the application’s privacy policy on the platform / store or in your app, or if you have a complaint about the app’s privacy practices, please report it.

 For Applications in the Microsoft Windows Store: Locate the link labeled “Report an application to Microsoft” or “Report a problem to Microsoft.”