With the advances in technology, we can do so much more than we used to but does that put us more at risk? We can pull up bank information on our smart phones, make reservations with our credit card on our tablets, and make purchases with private information on any device with internet service.  Is the level of security enough?

identity theft

 Easy Access

The fact that more people are using mobile devices makes it easier for a criminal to get their information. How many times do you see a cell phone lying around or a tablet placed on a table in a public area? If they are not kept locked, it is easy for someone to access any personal data that is located on there.

Even if you do lock your smart phone or laptop, it is relatively easy for an experienced hacker to break in. Most people don’t try to protect their information with difficult passwords; they are more worried about forgetting it than someone else figuring it out.

Fewer Protections

While the manufacturers of smart phone systems and other mobile devices try to provide the needed security features, owners often don’t do the same. Most people have some type of virus protection on their laptop, but 40% of smart phone owners do not. They feel safer browsing on the internet from their phone than on a computer. However, depending on the platform, there are thousands of malicious programs that can harm your phone and steal your information.

The statistics are similar for tablet-users. Thirty-one percent of them don’t see the need for virus protection. They also do not use passwords to protect their private information and most people store plenty of it on their devices.

Risks Are Increasing

The risks to smart phone and tablet users are increasing as more people replace their laptop with a mobile device. The hackers and creators of these malicious programs are spending more time on devices such as cell phones and tablets because they know those are the places where people are spending more of their time. They know that passwords and credit card information is stored on there, and they realize that users aren’t prepared.

Mobile users often use unsecured networks to access the internet which puts them at greater risk. They download more data and media now and add more apps. If a mobile device gets stolen, it can put numerous people at risk if your information is accessed. To prevent this, you can invest in a service that will wipe your phone clean if that should happen so the thief can get access to nothing of value.

Your personal data is at risk the more time you spend on your electronic devices. The first step in prevention is to be aware of the possibilities and how you can protect yourself. Deleting personal information and browsing history makes confidential information harder for third parties to find. You can use a number of apps to make your online activity more secure. If you have other suggestions please leave them in the comments below.

 

[Image via adrianrainey]