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Lock-up Your Home, Lock-up Your Ride, Lock-up Your Cell Phone

I read an article this morning in the Dallas Morning News about how few of us lock our cell phones or protect it with security software and that is really not very smart.

Think about it, most smart phones serve as a lot more than just a gadget from which to make telephone calls.  We Twitter, we Facebook, we access email, we access work documents and servers, we pay our bills and purchase goods, and we access our bank accounts.  All are actions that, if we did them elsewhere, would be protected with PINs, passwords and security measures.  So why don’t we protect our cell phones?

With near field communication (NFC) waiting around the corner to transform our cell phones into mobile wallets, now is the time to start developing better, safer cell phone practices.  Start by setting up a PIN and locking your phone.  When it sleeps, it should lock.  I realize it is a pain to enter the number, but which is better – entering an ‘inconvenient’ PIN or having someone have deterred access to all of your personal information?

Install security software on your cell and use common sense when downloading apps.  Google just deleted several apps off their site because they were full of malware, so never assume someone else is looking after your phone.

Never use your cell to conduct banking business when you are on an unknown or public Wi-Fi network.  You have no idea where that information is being funneled.

Just as we have had to learn to lock-up other things we value, so must we learn to lock-up our cells.  Better to learn that lesson now than later the hard way.