Privacy Concerns and Smartphones

The following information is from www.privacyrights.org and contains a lot of good information regarding protection of personal information on smart phones. 1. Introduction A smartphone is a small handheld electronic device that has features of both a mobile phone and a computer. Smartphones allow us to communicate via talk, text and video; access personal and work e-mail; access the Internet; make purchases; manage bank accounts; take pictures and do many other activities.  They are becoming capable of doing more and more every day. Clunky, expensive versions of smartphones have been around since as early as 1992, but it wasn’t until Apple released the iPhone in 2007 that smartphones reached the mass market. According to a June 2013 Pew Internet Report, 56% of American adults have a smartphone. In fact, smartphone users now outnumber traditional mobile phone users. While they provide us with seemingly unlimited amounts of useful tools, most of us don’t consider the massive amount of personal data that we carry around in our smartphones. Unlike many of our computers, our smartphones are always with us and many of us rarely turn them off.  Despite the amount we use them and the dependence we place on our smartphones, a 2012 study found that 62% of smartphone users do not password protect their phone and that smartphone users are 33% more likely to become a victim of identity theft than non-users. In this Fact Sheet, we explain the privacy implications of smartphones and offer practical tips to protect your privacy. 2. What is your smartphone capable of revealing about you? It’s safe to assume that anything you do on your smartphone and any information you store is at risk of being snooped on if you