Smartphones: How Safe is Your Mobile Internet Use?

The Department of Homeland Security offers multiple resources on staying safe while online through the Stop Think Connect Campaign. Smartphones are an easy way to get on line, conduct banking transactions, pay bills, and even more. But, just how safe are you when you connect through your mobile device?
Are you aware that 56% of the U. S. population owns a smartphone and that the number of households is increasing? Almost 90% of the time spent on a smartphone is through inside applications on the phone. Almost one third of all email received, is opened on a smartphone. Smartphones are at risk for malware by individuals clicking on links embedded in texts from unknown sources or through infected applications. A few simple tips can keep you safe while using your smartphone on line.

1. Restrict access to your wireless network by only allowing authorized users access to your network.
2. Change any pre-configured default passwords on your mobile device to ones that would be difficult for an outsider to guess.
3. Keep your anti-virus software updated.
4. Use caution when downloading or clicking on any unknown links.
5. Use your mobile device carefully; emails that can harm your computer can also harm your mobile device.
6. Be sure to review and understand the details of an app before installing it and be wary of the information it requests.

Use the Federal Communications Commission’s mobile phone security checker at www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, take action immediately. Notify creditors and place fraud alerts on potentially impacted accounts. File a police report if necessary. For additional resources, contact the Service Member Support Division at 1-800-292-9464 option 3.

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