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FCC Releases New "Smartphone Security Checker" To Help Consumers

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Released: December 18, 2012

FCC RELEASES NEW “SMARTPHONE SECURITY CHECKER” TO HELP CONSUMERS PROTECT

MOBILE DEVICES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

ONLINE TOOL CREATES 10-STEP ACTION PLAN FOR CONSUMERS, INCLUDING TIPS ON SETTING

PASSWORDS, BACKING UP DATA, AND HOW TO REPORT STOLEN PHONES

MOBILE SECURITY THREATS INCREASED MORE THAN 350% SINCE 2010

On December 18, 2012, the FCC and its public and private sector partners released a new online tool, the “Smartphone
Security Checker,” to help consumers protect their mobile devices this holiday season. The “Smartphone Security
Checker” is a free, easy-to-use online tool that creates a 10-step smartphone action plan to help consumers protect their
mobile devices from smartphone-related cybersecurity threats. Almost half of Americans now own a smartphone and
close to 20% have been the victim of mobile cybercrime. The FCC worked with smartphone security experts from the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security, The Federal Trade Commission, The National Cyber Security Alliance, CTIA-The
Wireless Association, Lookout, and other public and private sector partners on these mobile security best practices.
Consumers can access the “Smartphone Security Checker” at www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security.

I.

To assist the 120 million American smartphone owners, FCC releases a new Smartphone Security Checker to
help consumers protect themselves from mobile cyber threats

·
The FCC and its public and private sector partners launch the “Smartphone Security Checker.” The
“Checker” was developed in collaboration with DHS, NCSA, FTC, CTIA, Lookout, Sophos, and others.
·
The “Smartphone Security Checker” enables any consumer to create a customized 10-step security checklist
tailored to their smartphone’s operating system (Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone).
·
The new “Smartphone Security Checker” is available at www.fcc.gov/smartphone-security, and includes
information on how to:
§
Set pins and passwords for your smartphone
§
Download security apps that enable remote locating and data wiping
§
Back-up the data on your smartphone if your device is lost or stolen
§
Wipe data on your old phone and where to go to donate, resell or recycle it
§
Safely use public Wi-Fi networks and what steps to take if your phone is stolen

II.

Consumers need to protect themselves against growing smartphone security threats

·
Less than 1 in 20 smartphones and tablets have third party security software installed in them.1
·
Less than 50% of smartphone owners use password protection on their devices.2
·
More than 40% of smartphone users have no antivirus software on their smartphones.3
·
Every 3.5 seconds, one American loses their phone, adding up to more than $30 billion in annual losses.4
·
According to a recent study, a total of 24,794 mobile malware threats were detected in 2011, a 367% rise over
6,760 threats in 2010.5
·
In 2011, a single data breach per compromised record, which includes mobile devices, averaged $194.6

III.

The FCC continues to help consumers understand and combat cyber threats and mobile device theft

·
In April 2012, the FCC launched the ‘PROTECTS Initiative’ to combat mobile device theft and trafficking.
PROTECTS enables consumers to call their wireless provider to report their wireless devices stolen, which
allows their provider to deactivate the device and prevent it from being used on other networks.
·
In October 2012, Chairman Genachowski announced the release of the Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0 as well as
an updated Cybersecurity Tip Sheet.
·
FCC is also a participating agency in the public/private National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education
(NICE) partnership led by NIST. The NICE partnership runs the Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign, which is
designed to raise awareness and generate new strategies to strengthen cybersecurity.


1 Juniper Research, Mobile Security Opportunities, August, 2011
2 McAfee, Ten Quick Tips to Mobile Security
3 Kaspersky Lab, Survey, May 2012
4 Lookout, Mobile Lost & Found, March, 2012
5 NQ Mobile, 2011 Mobile Security Report, February 2012
6 Symantec, 2011 Cost of Data Breach Study; United States, March 2012

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