Cell phone security - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Cell phone security

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - We're packing a lot of personal information on our smart phones these days. Many of us do our banking, shopping, bill paying and more using our mobile phones. If it makes your life easier, there's an app for that. But that convenience could open the door to cyber theft.

You should take the same precautions on your smart phone that you take on your personal computer. Cyber thieves are well aware that you're using your cell phone for much more than just talking these days, and you could be their next target.

"I have everything from gaming apps, to utilities, and also banking," said smart phone user Jonathan Mustain.

On the Florida Atlantic University campus in Boca Raton, cell phones are as common as textbooks, but students we spoke with aren't very concerned about their smart phones being hacked. "I'm not very worried because you'd have to figure out my password, and then if you're going to somehow break into it, everything will probably be erased by then," said Mustain.

"Apples tend to get hacked less than PCs, so I feel safer using an Apple computer or an Apple phone as compared to something else," another added. 

These guys have taken some precautions, such as using security codes and passwords. But many smart phone users are vulnerable.

A recent report by mobile security company Lookout showed there were 80 Android apps infected with malicious software in January. By June, there were more than 400 -- affecting about one-million android owners. "I believe we are already protected. Only we don't know all this protection exists," said F.A.U. Computer Science Chairman Dr. Borko Furht.

He recommends you download protective software from one of the major players, such as Norton, Apple or Google. "You download some application, which is called malware, you don't have protection. Suddenly, this application, which was done by cyber criminals, has access to all your phone data, your password and everything else."

Malware, spyware, vulnerable apps, and phishing scams are just a few of the threats to your cell phone security. At the very least, use a security code and lock your keypad when not in use.

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