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With the world going mobile and people using their device for everything from getting directions, to social media to transferring money on a cellular device, security has to be a prime concern for users.

In fact, in February, HTC settled a privacy case over flaws in their phones. It has been estimated that there are more than 18 million HTC phones smartphone devices alone.

The Federal Trade Commission charged HTC with customizing the software on its Android-and-Windows-based phones in such a way that it allowed third-party apps to install software that could steal personal information against their will as well as theft of personal information stored on the device.

This action was a first by the commission to police a mobile device manufacturer. As tablets and smartphones become the preferred way to shop, bank and chat, personal information and privacy needs guarding so you don't fall prey to identity theft and worse.

The mobile giant agreed to settle the suit with the commission by issuing software patches that close the security holes and by creating a security program that is to be monitored by an independent party. The FTC cannot assess fines in consumer protection cases.

In light of this case it brings to the forefront that HTC is only one of many mobile carriers and as such overall safety of mobile devices needs to be addressed. Below are some tips.

Smartphone Safety & Secuirty

The FCC has a Smartphone Security Checker. The tool is free and easy to use. Start by choosing your mobile operating system and then follow the 10 customized steps to secure your mobile device. They also recommend the following steps.

  1. Set Pins and Passwords
  2. Avoid modifying security settings
  3. Backup & secure all data regularly
  4. Install apps from trusted sources
  5. Read the permissions, if you aren’t sure, don’t accept them
  6. Install a security app that will allow enable remote location and wiping
  7. Install updates when available
  8. Be smart on open Wi-Fi networks
  9. Before donating, selling or even discarding a mobile device be sure to wipe all data
  10. If you lose or misplace your device, report it stolen

The same safety measures apply for using anything online as well. Sony PlayStation serves as a good example. In May 2011, their network suffered an outage that affected some 70 million accounts due to a hack of its online system that resulted in compromised users’ personal data, possibly including credit card information.

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