You may ask what that has to do with protecting your identity? Based on data collected by the Identity Theft Resource Center, seven percent of Smartphone owners were victims of identity fraud. This is 33% more likely than the general public.
Smartphone users can take two straightforward steps to reduce risk of identity theft:
- Update to a new operating system when it becomes available. Currently, 32 percent do not update their phones.
- Use a password on their home screen. Sixty-two percent do not at this time; this allows easy access to information if the phone is lost. Since 32% of smartphoners save log-in information (e.g. for facebook, email, etc) on their mobile device, a home-screen password is the only thing protecting those accounts from strangers.
Young adults aged 18-24 took the longest to detect identity theft – 132 days on average! The average cost to young adults ($1,156) was roughly five times the cost incurred by other age groups, according to Javelin Strategy and Research.
Identity Theft has been the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for the past twelve years. Of the 1.8 million complaints filed to the FTC in 2011, fifteen percent related to identity theft. During National Protect Your Identity Week, find more ways to protect your identity at www.ftc.gov ~Susan