Only On 6: Smartphone Security - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Only On 6: Smartphone Security

When it comes to smartphone security, you could actually be the one giving people access to your personal information, without even knowing it.
 
Alejandro Arango, Senior PR Manager at AT&T, says, "When you buy an app, a lot of people don't tend to read the fine print because it's very small and a lot of reading sometimes." 
A lot of reading. 
 
But somewhere in all that information is the maker telling you that it will access your phone for information. They want to know your location, download your contact list, even access your pictures and video.
 
And once you hit install, unknowingly that might have given them permission.
 
Alejandro says when you buy an app, always ask yourself why it needs the information it's requesting.
 
"There are some apps that ask for your location.   If it's something like a GPS navigation, there's a legitimate reason for why they need your location.   But if you're downloading a game, just think to yourself 'why do they need my location' and those are the cases where you should decline. "
 
But attempts to get your precious data don't stop there.
 
Arango says the biggest issue for their customers is cellphone spam.
 
"This is when a system randomly texts numbers, and if people respond to these spam messages, not only do the hackers know they've reached an actual live person, they're able to potentially steal their identity and steal their personal information," Says Arango. "Yes, that kind of technology is available unfortunately. Sometimes it's as simple as you responding to a message that you're not sure if it's meant to you or not. "
 
Then there's the good ol' fashioned low tech way for someone to gain access to your info by physically finding or stealing a phone that's not password protected.


Cliff Mannon is a store manager at AT&T.  He says, "I hate to even say phones. Very few people are using them to call anymore. We're using them to tweet, we're using them to check in on Facebook or post on a status, check the weather."
 
 Mannon says that you should always use a password.
 
"With all the information that's on there, we encourage them to put a pass code lock or something like that on there, so if somebody gets their phone, nobody gets in that phone."
 
He even suggests using a password for your voicemail.
 
"It's a bit of an inconvenience that when you go to check your voice mail you might have to enter a four digit number, but with that it ensures that nobody else gets in to your voicemail," says Mannon. "With every convenience comes a little bit of a security risk."
  
And you can never be too careful. Zach Owens of Wichita Falls was burned by a friend when he handed her his smartphone.  

"She took my phone and said she needed to call somebody, so I let her borrow my phone. I check Facebook a few minutes later, and found out that she's posted several statuses as me, some of them weren't very appropriate," Zach Says. "Quite a few were vulgar, actually."
 
Mannon says in today's world, we have become desensitized to what our personal information actually is, which is why many don't use passwords.

"We'll post that we're going to the grocery store, we'll post that we're going to the movies. We'll have our address our phone number, our work info, our children's names. All those sorts of things are out there."


 
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