"Amanda Sutton panicked when someone stole her smart phone.
"Who knows what they could do with that information? I mean, there's
pictures, and bank cards, and e-mails."
Unfortunately, Amanda hadn't taken steps to protect her personal
information. She's not alone, according to a nationally representative survey
done by Consumer Reports.
Simon Slater/ Consumer Reports,
"Nearly 40 percent of smart-phone users don't take actions to secure their
phones, like backing up their data or simply setting a screen lock."
Even if you do lock, experts say a tech-savvy thief can quickly crack certain
Consumer Reports says far safer: setting a longer code that includes letters
and symbols. Android phones let you do it by going to settings, but then
each phone is a little different.
On one, "security" then "screen lock" gets you to the password reset. But
on this Android phone, you'll tap "lock screen" … "screen lock" in order to
change your password.
With iPhones it's even trickier. Under "settings," tap "general" and
"passcode lock." Check that the "simple passcode" is turned off. Then tap
"turn passcode on" and now you can enter your longer passcode.
Consumer Reports says another security risk - apps that ask for permission
to do too much … like this simple flashlight app. It wants to know your
location and information about your phone calls.
For adults like Amanda, taking a few basic precautions can secure sensitive
data. And kids need protection, too. The survey projects at least five million
preteens have a smart phone of their own. ."