Secure smart phones to block ID theft |

Secure smart phones to block ID theft

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto says owners of smartphones need to take precautions to make sure the information in their phone isn’t stolen by someone.

She said smartphones are essentially small computers that make telephone calls so if one is lost or stolen, the owner would be vulnerable to ID theft, credit card fraud and other problems.

She said the first step is to set a passcode on the phone so other people can’t access your applications or private information. It’s also a good idea to set the phone to automatically lock after a certain amount of idle time.

She said people should be weary of public Wi-Fi spots such as restaurants, bars and airports.

“Do not conduct sensitive business or banking transactions that could cause harm if intercepted by someone else,” she warned.

Masto said GPS software should be turned off except when needed for a specific purpose because criminals can use location information to target you.

She said applications should only be downloaded from trusted sources such as those sponsored by your cell phone provider. Apps from other sources could install viruses on a phone.

Log out of websites and apps when finished — especially banking sites or sites where your credit information is stored.

Finally, she said people should reset a phone to factory default settings when selling it. Contacts, pictures and other information should be erased.