FCC and Other Gov Groups Back Smartphone Security Service
The government today introduced a new tool that it hopes smartphone owners will take advantage of in order to protect their smartphones and personal data. The Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Trade Commission, National Cyber Security Alliance, CTIA-The Wireless Association, and Lookout announced the Smartphone Security Checker, a web-based check list that smartphone owners can use to secure their devices. The FCC and its partners make a number of basic recommendations to help protect consumer info that's accessible on smartphones. They suggest smartphone owners set pass codes; avoid rooting or jailbreaking; use security apps that allow for remote location, locking, and wiping; keep the phone's software up to date; and only download apps/content from trusted sources. "With less than half of smartphone owners using passwords to protect their devices, this new tool will be of particular value," remarked FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. "[It] is a perfect time to remind consumers to take simple steps, like setting a password, to protect themselves from mobile security threats." The web site lets Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone users customize their security settings. The Smartphone Security Checker is free to use.