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FCC Launches Tool to Ward Off Mobile Security Threats

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 5:45am

Smartphonesecurity

Someone in the U.S. loses their cellphone every 3.5 seconds, which adds up to more than $30 billion in losses each year. Not to mention the losses associated with mobile security theft, password hacks and so on.

To help consumers protect mobile devices and ward off security threats, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is stepping in with a new tool called the "Smartphone Security Checker." The checker -- which is in partnership with organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security, Sophos and Lookout -- includes tips for Android, iOS, Windows and BlackBerry users on setting passwords, backing up data, wiping data on an old phone and how to avoid stolen devices.

“With less than half of smartphone owners using passwords to protect their devices, this new tool will be of particular value to millions of Americans," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. "The holiday gift-giving season is a perfect time to remind consumers to take simple steps, like setting a password, to protect themselves from mobile security threats.”

The FCC aims to bring greater mobile security awareness to the public, citing that 20% of Americans that own a smartphone have already been subject to mobile cybercrime. Meanwhile, mobile security threats overall have grown 350% since 2010.

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December 19, 2012

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