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July 10, 2011

Insecure Smartphones

Insecure Smartphones

Ask Men, By, Jeremy Berger

Would you rather lose your wallet or your phone? If you live in the UK, it may not matter much. British tabloid News of the World, which was embroiled for years in a scandal after allegedly hacking the phones of everyone from the royal family to a murdered teen, was finally shut down by News Corp. on Thursday. The scandal calls not only journalistic practices into question but also the amount of personal information we have stored on our phones.

For the average smartphone user -- 40% of Americans, according to a 2010 Pew Research survey -- the damage from a lost phone could be more compromising than a few credit cards and some cabbage. How about financial information, access to social networks, pictures of Congressional genitalia, all neatly concentrated in one place? The experts we spoke with unanimously agreed that the greatest security threat to smartphone users is a misplaced or stolen device. Free tip: Lock your phone with a passcode and get a remote lock/wipe function, at the very least.

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