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This is a Guest Post by digitalpros.org. If you would like to Guest Post for Baby Boomers US, check out our Guest Post for Us page.

We are in love with mobile technology, and so are cell phone service providers. The Pew Research Internet Project reports that a whopping 90 percent of American adults have a cell phone, and 58 percent of them have a smart phone. 29 percent said they couldn’t imagine living without their cell phones. When was the last time you wrote down a phone number? New numbers just go into our cell phones, and we usually don’t give them another thought, other than to maybe assign a funny ring tone or goofy icon to some of them. Our cell phones make our lives easier and are fun to use. But cell phones and especially smart phones come with some risks to guard against.

 What Kinds of Risks?

You risk exposing personal financial and identifying information when using a smart phone, especially out in public. Moving around while using your mobile device means using Wi-Fi services that have varying levels of security. Some apps for smart phones are not safe and expose users to malware, “phishing” or hacker attempts to get private information, and other scams.

 If your phone is GPS-enabled, you may be exposed to stalking, harassment, and even physical danger if someone uses it to track your location. Once enabled, GPS stays on until manually turned off by the phone user. Be aware of the GPS status of your phone when out in public or away from home. ID Theft Center advises to get into the habit of turning off GPS before you leave the house and after each use.

 Precautions for Smart Phone Use

No one should be able to access your phone without your knowledge and consent. To prevent someone from picking up and using your phone when you step away briefly, password protect it with a strong password not associated with any personal identifying information.

 Don’t use your smart phone without security software. Use a reliable smart phone security program and keep it updated regularly. Don’t download every interesting app you come across. Take the time to read up on every app you want to use, including reviews and developer information, before you install and use them.

 Try to avoid using public Wi-Fi, and if you do, don’t use it to make purchases or access your email. Use your provider network rather than a public Wi-Fi network where hackers may be able to access your device. Be very careful when making any purchases with your smart phone and check every purchase site for security. If you’re looking for more in-depth information on identity theft protection, the LifeLock website has some great tips on cybersafety.

 Essential Programs for Security

“Phone finder” apps help you find your phone if it’s lost or stolen. Backup/wiping programs let you backup your phone information to your home computer and enable you to remotely wipe all data from the device if it ends up in the wrong hands. If you don’t have a backup/wiping program, you are vulnerable to losing sensitive data such as all the names and phone numbers on your SIM card, your browsing history of favorite and often-visited websites, and even purchase and online banking histories.

 Identity thieves, hackers, and other shady characters are always looking for opportunities to get into an unsuspecting and unprotected user’s smart phone. It’s easier to take some simple precautions and use your smart phone safely than to try and do damage control for fraud, viruses, and loss of financial information.

coffee cupEvery week I come across an article or two that I find very helpful to me as a Baby Boomer and think may be of some interest to you, the community, as well.

They may be from an online news source, another Blog or Website or something I found surfing around the Internet. They could even be something that was sent in by a reader of the Blog or a member of the Baby Boomer’s Forum.

Enjoy!

 Baby boomers have what identity thieves want by Deirdre Fernandes… Lurking in the dark corners of the Web are scammers and thieves trying to steal the bank account and credit card numbers and other personal information of baby boomers, whose lifetime of savings and established credit histories make them top targets.

I  hope you found this weeks choice(s) helpful and enjoyable. What did you think? Do you have any suggestions for next week?

Smile!

Smile!

Monday has always been a little bit of a let down, what with it being the beginning of the work week and all.

So to start things out on a bright note for the week, I bring you the…

Baby Boomers Monday Musings.

Lifeboat

 

After a ship sank in the ocean, three men ended up stranded in a lifeboat. They floated around for days without food or water. One afternoon a bottle floated up to the boat. The men grabbed the bottle and when they pulled the cork out of the bottle, a genie appeared.

‘I’ll grant each of you a single wish,’ said the genie.

‘I wish I was home,’ said the first man. Then, poof! he disappeared.

‘I wish I was home, too,’ said the second man. Poof! He disappeared too.

The third man looked around. ‘Gee, I’m kind of lonely,’ he said. ‘I wish my friends were here with me.’

Hope that put a little smile on your face and Keep On Smilin’

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