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Being Smarter About Your Smart Phone

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For many Americans, smart phones are an indispensable part of daily life. These brainy devices can act as mobile sources of personal e-mail, banking and even location-based services. But these pocket-sized personal assistants are far from impenetrable when it comes to identity thieves, and with these tantalizing technologies come hidden hacks that can leave you (and your money) vulnerable.

"It is very difficult to have any protection on your phone," Dave Aitel, whose company creates penetration-testing products (i.e. hacking tools) told Kiplinger.com. According to the financial publication, Aitel’s company, Immunity, “developed a tool that can easily hack into Google Android phones, Aitel says. To be clear, it was created to test mobile security, not to be sold to people who want to tap into others' phones. Nonetheless, the tool shows how vulnerable these phones are to hackers.”

These smart phone scams happen a couple of ways. First, while the mere existence of the mobile devices alone doesn’t make them readily accessible to identity thieves, smart hackers can lure unsuspecting user-victims by persuading them to click on seemingly harmless links; or, secondly these smart phone-savvy scam artists can attempt to simply tap into your device as soon as it’s connected to a public source of Wi-Fi. According to the experts, the more tasks you perform on your phone, the more vulnerable you could be to having thieves infiltrate your favorite pocket device, and, in turn, your personal life and finances.

Now that you know the risks, it’s time to explore your options in securing the smartest of phones. Here’s Kiplinger’s best tips, including:

“Choose your phone wisely. Both the iPhone and Windows Phone 7 are built from the ground up to restrict what the consumers do with their phones, making them the most secure operating systems, Aitel says. BlackBerry is less secure than the iPhone and Windows Phone 7. Sorry Google fans: Android is the least secure mobile phone operating system, he says. It's accessible and easy to write applications for -- and that means less secure.

Choose your connection wisely. Stick with your phone's 3G (or 4G) network connection if you can because it is more secure than Wi-Fi. Definitely avoid public Wi-Fi connections, which give hackers easy access to your phone.

Choose what you do on your phone wisely. Aitel says shopping on your smart phone is okay as long as you use a credit card, which provides more consumer protections than other forms of payment (see Safe Ways to Shop on Your Smart Phone). But he says DO NOT use your phone to bank online or to deposit checks to your account. "There's no halfway here," he says. "You either want someone to take all your money or you don't." (Other security experts I've talked with aren't quite so adamant about this. See Safe Ways to Bank With Your Smart Phone.)”

Despite these warnings from the smart phone experts, we know that people in certain situations can fall for even the most obvious scams and hacks. So it’s important to understand that if you’ve lost major money—whether via identity theft, the housing market or the stock market—a qualified bankruptcy attorney can be a safe and authentic way for financially-insecure Americans to conquer their fears (an creditors). In fact, the bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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