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Protecting personal info on your smartphone | News

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Protecting personal info on your smartphone

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - In the last decade, the way consumers send and receive information has shifted to the world of smartphones. But do you know where you personal information is going and how you can protect it in this mobile movement?

"We're starting to become more and more dependent on our devices; they have a ton of information in them," says Prentice Oguinn of Verizon Wireless.

That information can be compromised if you're not careful. Oguinn says having a strong password is step number one.

"The longer your password is, using symbols, things like that can make your password more secure than using your name, taking the easy way out," says Oguinn.

Free applications are not always what they seem, because many times when you agree to the terms of service, you're releasing your personal contacts and web browsing history.

"Most of us, if not all of us never read what's in the fine print and a lot of these application providers say hey we're going to take your contacts. We're going to take your personal information, your phone number, potentially your email address," says Jeff Stalnaker, CEO of PrivacyStar

PrivacyStar is a Conway based company working on multimedia protection solutions. The company released an application for android and blackberry that can block unwanted calls.

"Being able to block calls, texts, and find out who called you and file complaints," says Stalnaker.

Users can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission with this app in a matter of seconds.

"We've filed over 300,000 complaints with the Federal Trade Commission in the past 14 months," says Stalnaker.

The PrivacyStar app. also features a way to block entire area codes from calling your phone.

"What we're trying to do is give you control of your phone, your mobile phone you pay for it every month and you ought to be able to control who can call you and who can send you a text message," says Stalnaker.

The PrivacyStar app comes with a free 7 day trial and then is $2.99 a month. There is also a limited version of the app. for the Iphone.

Here are insights to consider when using your mobile device:

• If it's stolen...most companies can wipe your data off the phone remotely.
• Turn off GPS and data, when not in use. Being "connected" 24/7 sounds great, but there is such a thing as providing too much information. And that data could be used against you by competitors, criminals, stalkers, and so forth.
• Finally be careful about connecting to an unknown wifi network. You don't know what information can be retrieved if it's not secure.


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