Tips for keeping your cell phone footprint private

(Source: StoryBlocks)
(Source: StoryBlocks)(StoryBlocks)
Published: Feb. 26, 2022 at 8:00 AM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Experts want people who use smartphones to be aware of the footprint they’re leaving because it could be endangering their security and privacy.

In a study published this month in Psychological Science, researchers studied the phone activity of nearly 800 people and found that app usage tends to be consistent, making a user easy to identify. Their research allowed them to narrow a person’s identity down in three out of four cases through the apps they visit.

But it’s not always bad. Law enforcement can use the information to solve crimes. Police in Pennsylvania did just that in capturing a murderer last week. 

“As society changes with being a part of people’s lives it changes the investigations also,” said Allegheny County Police Asst. Superintendent Vic Joseph. “Just as everyone has a cell phone with them all the time it generally provides evidence that helps us in the investigation.”

To protect yourself, experts advise you to go through a trusted app store and even then, check apps thoroughly before downloading them and definitely before entering your personal information. 

Don’t click on links unless you are certain that the sender is legit. Look carefully at the URL. 

Stay off of open WiFi networks and install security software to prevent someone else from installing spyware or malware on your device.   

And finally, enable remote wiping so that you can erase important data if your phone is ever lost or stolen.

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