Source: Tips to protect data on that smartphone under your tree – The Cincinnati Insurance Companies blog

If you are among the millions unwrapping a slick new smartphone this holiday season, you’ll want to take steps to protect it and your privacy.

Almost 80 percent of Americans own smartphones, according to reports from the U.S. General Services Administration, and cybercriminals are out to exploit them.

Even if this is not your first smartphone, you’ll want to follow these safety tips:

  • Set PINs and passwords
  • Do not modify or alter your smartphone’s security settings
  • Back up and secure your data
  • Install apps ONLY from trusted sources
  • Understand app permissions before accepting them
  • Install security apps that enable remote location and wiping
  • Accept updates and patches to your smartphone’s software
  • Be smart on open Wi-Fi networks; take extra care to secure your data
  • Report a stolen smartphone to your wireless provider and to local law enforcement

Many homeowner policies would cover a lost or stolen smartphone, but your policy deductible may be higher than the value of the device. Some wireless providers offer extended warranty programs that cover loss or theft as well as malfunction. Check with your insurance agent or cell carrier for additional information.