Tech Tuesday: Phone protection

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by SHANNON POWELL HART

WFAA

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 26 at 5:04 PM

Cell phones are more than just a tool to chat on. It is now a rolodex, a photo album and sometimes a bank teller.

With so much information on the small device, security measures are a must for the precious cell phone.

Many people can't remember important numbers without their phones. According to one survey, one in ten people have had their cell phones stolen.

What's worse? In that same study it was discovered that 52 percent of people do not have pass codes set on their phones.

Your first line of defense is to PUT IN A PASS CODE. If a phone is stolen, the thief will have to decode the phone before it can be used.

-Those with a security code use a four-digit pass code. Go one step further and create one that is stronger. Go into your settings and make it six digits or more. If someone grabs your phone, it is not going to be easy. Do not use the last four of your social security number because that is information easily obtained by a hacker or thief.

It is important to require a password within a minute of no use. If you put your phone down or stop using it, after one minute the screen is locked. To use it again, the secret code has to be entered.

With an Android phone, you can go one step further. The facial recognition element has been added to certain handsets like the Galaxy S III.  If it fails, you have to know the code to have access to the using the device. 

-Update your apps, because those fixes improve security.

Another point to make before downloading an app is to check the app before your download. Suggestion, go to the app provider's web site or do an internet search to check it out.

Use the “Find My iPhone app" or for android users download the "Look Out" app. Both apps will help you find your phone if you lose it. They will also shut the device down if it is stolen.

The iPhone app lets you lock the device and use another IOS device to locate the phone. The iPad also has a “Find my iPad” app which also serves as a security measure.
 
The Android app “Look out” will allow you to lock the phone and locate it on another smart phone or PC. You can also get a picture and location of someone who should not have your phone.

Both apps will sound alarms if you program them to do so.

E-mail spowell@wfaa.com

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