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Business Consumer Alliance Blog

Being Smart With Your Smartphone

smartphone tips

In today’s age, phones are no longer used just to place and receive calls. New features and applications are regularly being introduced, providing our phones with the capability to effectively manage our day-to-day lives. You can bank from your phone, engage in social media, communicate and transfer your health information, even receive tax information, and so much more. While these features may make daily tasks simpler, Business Consumer Alliance offers the following tips to help you protect your sensitive information and avoid having it fall into the wrong hands:

  • Put your phone on a time out. Set your phone to lock automatically when it is not in use for a few minutes. Change the settings so that the device requires a password to reopen.
  • Password protection. If you engage in online shopping or manage any financial information with your smartphone, set up different passwords for each application and never share your passwords with anyone. While this may seem burdensome, doing so may pay off in the end if your password information is compromised.
  • Wisely use Wi-Fi. Public wireless networks can be found everywhere from your local coffee shop to hotels. Avoid sending personal information on these networks. Use an encrypted network that requires a password instead.
  • Don’t respond to strangers. Never text or email personal information to someone who contacts you requesting the information. Oftentimes this can expose you to phishing attacks. Phishing is when thieves impersonate a business to deceive you into giving them your personal information. Even if the message appears to be from an organization you trust, contact the business directly to ensure the communication is from them and only provide the information if you know exactly how it will be used, plus only do so over a secure website (one that either has “https” or a lock icon).
  • Keep it clean. Delete any texts or email messages with your personal information.
  • Watch your connections. If you use Bluetooth to connect your phone with other devices, do so solely in private areas. Thieves may easily obtain access to your device in a crowd, which can put your information at risk. Don’t forget to turn off Bluetooth when you aren’t using it.
  • Remove your information. Before you get rid of an old phone remove your personal information. (See BCA’s “How to Guide on Disposing of Your Mobile Device”).

Being smart about how you use your smartphone can help you steer clear of undesirable situations and prevent having your personal information accessed by crooks. For information on mobile apps and other useful information, visit BCA’s Resource Guides. Like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on scams and share the information with others.

About the Author

Nicole Pitts is a Senior Business Analyst and Editor for Business Consumer Alliance. She has been with the organization for 12 years and specializes in report writing, business evaluation, and investigations. Nicole corresponds with businesses regarding complaint trends and provides suggestions to help them alleviate problem areas that may cause concern. She also conducts advertisement reviews, reports on government enforcement actions, and assists government agencies and the media in obtaining information. She enjoys reading, movies, and spending time with her family. Nicole can be reached by email at