Being Smart with Your Smartphone (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson

February 27, 2013 Updated Feb 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM EST

Fort Wayne, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Smart phones and tablets are a convenience so many people enjoy and often find indispensible. But those devices also often hold very important personal information.

"Having this (a smart phone) where I might lose it makes it a vulnerability,” said Kevin Mullett, Director of Product Development, Cirrus ABS.

45 percent of adults in America have a smart phone and that number goes up to 66 percent for those between ages 18 and 29, according to The Pew Research Center. So how does a perfectly portable, device you often keep in the palm of your hand turn on you?

"You have people who will, you know, unfortunately make a pastime out of trying to literally hack into things, literally break into things where they don't belong,” said Mullett.

For smart phones and tablets most of their uses are powered by the Internet, the playing ground for hackers. These devices are used to check e-mails, pay bills and download the next best app. But what they can also hold are your passwords which can give access to things like your bank account.

"It's very easy for somebody to look through your phone, by doing a search, and find where you have put passwords in your phone,” said Mullett.

How Kevin protects his codes is by using an app to store his passwords. That app is also password protected.

Hackers can get in when you least expect it but what if you actually lose your phone? Kevin says there's an app for that too, Find my I phone or Where's my Droid.

"You can remotely call your phone to lock it if you did not lock it ahead of time. It will also allow you to of course ring it so you can find it but there's another feature on that which is the remote wipe capability. So if you've really lost your phone, you're not sure whose hands that it is in you can go in through one of these tools and you can actually wipe out the data that's on your phone,” said Mullett.

Kevin says to really think about what you’re doing. He suggests never paying your bills or going to banking sites while on a public WIFI. He also strongly suggests never downloading apps without reading reviews or send personal information over a site that isn’t secure.

"All we can do as consumers and as lay people is try to be diligent with our information. You wouldn't let your wallet sit out on the table at a restaurant, you shouldn't write on a sticky note and put it on your palm rest on your laptop what the log in is so you just have to be a little bit diligent about how you are keeping your information safe,” said Mullett.




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