Smartphone Safety

August 5, 2012 7:13:41 AM PDT
Back-to school electronics used to mean a scientific calculator or something like it.

But as we approach the new school year, the most popular electronics will be smart phones. So how do you make sure your kid doesn't become the victim of theft or security breaches on his or her smart phone? Joan Jensen, president and CEO of the Central Credit Union of Illinois, came into our ABC7 studio with safety tips.

A. Security
1. Lock your screen with a password. Avoid using an obvious PIN (such as your birth year) or a simple pattern to unlock your screen and don't auto-save the information.
2. Stick with your phone's default connection - 3G and/or 4G connections are considerably more secure than public Wi-Fi connections, which provide hackers with easy access to your phone.
3. Install/ Activate location-tracking - Most smart phones have a location feature, activate it. This feature is a big help if your phone is lost or stolen.

B. Banking
1. Get Updates - After downloading a banking application (from bank's web site only) to your smartphone, check for updates on a regular basis. Outdated apps make the phone vulnerable to hackers.
2. Sign up for account alerts. Many banks and credit cards will send you a text or email when there's activity on your account. You'll know almost immediately if a fraudulent charge or withdrawal is made against your account.
3. Log out. Sign out of your banking and payment apps, and don't store your log-in information in an app's data-entry fields for easy access.

C. Shopping
1. Choose Credit Over Debit - Credit cards offer protection from identity theft that debit cards don't.
2. Verify Website Security - A secure web site starts with HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://. Secure sites will also have a small lock icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
3. Don't Store Information Online.


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