Tech Experts: Smartphones Not As Safe As You Think

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Most people these days know their desktop computer needs to be protected against viruses and other types of malware. But security on their smartphone is a different story.

Cory Goldensoph was clueless as to whether his phone had security software.

"Not as far as I know. Maybe it's preloaded? I don't know," said Goldensoph.

Nationally it's a concern because too many are using their smartphones to do more than make calls.

"I do like the US Bank, where you can deposit your check online. I check my balance a lot," said Danielle Leiran.

"I use my phone to purchase things off the internet, like with my credit card," said Cara Bergman.

Officials at security software developer SecurtityCoverage say people forget their smartphone is a computer and should be protected like one.

"I think very, very dangerous to be out there and unprotected at this point," said Ed Barrett, vice president of marketing.

Barrett says scammers are getting smart. They're grabbing information from phones through Facebook or linkedIn friend requests, malicious links on Twitter, even creating fraudulent apps for download.

It's only getting worse with time.

"We've seen, in the last year alone, close to a 2000% increase in mobile malware. So it's out there," said Barrett.

Barrett says if you think your brand name will protect you're wrong. Apple, Droid, or otherwise, it makes little difference. All are open to forms of malware. But, there are some simple things you can do to stay secure.

Don't download anything unless it's from a trusted source. Don't open suspicious emails. Use a password to lock your phone. And consider installing an antivirus app.

Some new security measures are in the works for phones of the future. Instead of passwords, manufactures are working on things like built-in fingerprint scanners to unlock your mobile.
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