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Identity Theft Fraud rises among smart phone users

Smart phone users are about one-third more likely to become victims of identity theft than the general public, according to a recent Javelin consumer survey.

Because smart phones can store vast amounts of personal information and data, users need to take steps to protect their phones in the same manner as laptops and tablets.  Here are some tips to protect your personal information:

  • Password protect your home screen so if your phone is lost or stolen, your personal information will not be easily accessible.  According to the survey, 62% of smart phone owners do not establish a password.
  • Update to new operating systems as soon as it becomes available.  Only 32% of smart phone owners keep their systems up-to-date.
  • If you use social media, be careful about how much personal information you post.  For example, LinkedIn users reported a10% identity theft rate versus 5% for the general population.  Never post your birth date and be sure to use privacy settings available on social media sites. For more information, download our Social Media Safety Checklist.
  • Consider purchasing identify theft protection that will monitor your personal information and alert you when there is a potential breach.

For more safety tips from HUB International, visit our consumer protection resources