ProtectMyID, a leading identity theft protection service provided by Experian, recently issued a warning to the users of Smartphones concerning the risk of identity theft on mobile devices. The warning was issued as a result of recent research conducted by ProtectMyID regarding data storage and unsecured wireless networks.
Identity theft on Smartphones has become an increasing concern and currently represents a gold mine for online criminals. This is due to the use of wireless networks that are not secure and the storage of personal information that easily allows cybercriminals to pose as the Smartphone user, drain financial resources, and obtain credit in the name of the victim. The recent research showed:
- Data Storage on Smartphones: The report indicated that approximate 65 percent of the users surveyed send and store data on their phone that is related to online shopping activity such as receipts and credit card data.
- Social Networking: When you use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter your profile often contains personal information that cybercriminals can access for the purpose of committing identity theft. The survey showed that over one half of Smartphone users access social media over the phone.
- Wireless Access: The availability of wireless networks has increased in the last few years and most of the networks are unsecured which provides the perfect location for cybercriminals to spy on your mobile phone activity. The survey showed that close to 30 percent of Smartphone users access wireless networks on a frequent basis.
- Online Banking: Approximately 20 percent of Smartphone users indicated that they use public wireless networks to access their banking information using Personal Identification Number codes. The wireless networks they were using were unsecured.
Smartphone Identity Theft Awareness
According to research by ProtectMyID and the Home Office, it was determined that identity theft on Smartphones rose by nearly 75 percent during the first two quarters of 2010. What’s more the Smartphone users who participated in the ProtectMyID research were not aware of the risks of identity theft on mobile phones and the significant rise in this type of crime. Additionally, ProtectMyID United Kingdom recently consulted with the metropolitan police which reported that nearly ten thousand Smartphones were lost or stolen on a monthly basis during 2010.
Benefits of Using an Identity Theft Protection Service
If you use a service such as ProtectMyID you can head off a problem early on instead of waiting until you receive a bill for an unknown expense that you did not incur. Services like ProtectMyID will monitor your credit activity on an ongoing basis and then send an email or text that alerts you if there is any suspicious activity. You also have access to a case worker that you can work with one-on-one, fraud insurance that protects you in the event of a problem and protective registration if you are a mobile worker that is at high risk of identity theft.
Experian launched ProtectMyID to add to their repertoire of global information services. The company is located in the United Kingdom and provides credit reports in addition to analytical tools and identity theft protection services. When you obtain an account with ProtectMyID you will receive credit monitoring services for three different credit reports.
The Federal Trade Commission that handles identity theft reports recommends that you monitor your credit on a daily basis so Experian provides credit monitoring on a daily basis. ProtectMyID services also provide daily detection of personal information, Internet scanning for fraudulent use of personal information, address safeguard services, and medical defense services to protect you against unauthorized use of your medical insurance.
Read our ProtectMyID review for more information.