FCC releases web resource for consumers to protect smartphones from security threats
The Federal Communications Commission has released an online tool to help consumers protect their mobile devices from increasing smartphone-related cybersecurity threats.
The FCC says it hopes device owners will use the free web-based resource to create a customized 10-step security checklist tailored to a smartphone's operating system, including Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.
The website provides information such as tips on setting passwords, backing up data, downloading security apps that enable remote locating and data wiping, as well as how to safely use public Wi-Fi networks and what steps to take if your phone is stolen. Fewer than 1 in 20 smartphones and tablets have third party security software installed on them and more than 40 percent of smartphones have no antivirus software.
In order to develop the website's mobile security best practices, the FCC collaborated with smartphone security experts from the Homeland Security Department, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Cyber Security Alliance, CTIA-The Wireless Association, Lookout, and other public and private sector partners.
Since 2010, mobile security threats have increased by more than 350 percent, according to the FCC, with that percentage likely to increase as 120 million Americans own smartphones and close to 20 percent have been the victim of mobile cybercrime.