Mobile Devices Are Great When Used Properly THE Tech Scoop March 24, 2013 Mobile Mobile devices have made a great number of things in the world much easier and faster. Mobile devices connect people over long distances, help people find bargains while shopping, provide fast internet service and give directions while people are on the road. These devices have applications that can help with virtually every service from exercising and cooking, to personal budgeting and entertainmen. However, mobile devices are only great when they are used properly. When used improperly, they can cost the owners extra money, can decrease safety and can open individuals up to identity theft. Using Mobile Devices on the Road Mobile devices are great helps when they are taken on the road. They can have maps loaded on them, can give directions, can direct drivers to the cheapest gas stations and can find local landmarks. They are indispensable as precautionary devices in case the owner is in a car accident or has an emergency. However, nowadays, there are many federal and local regulations regarding the use of mobile phones while the owner is driving. Many states limit the use of handheld devices. In these states, owners will need to purchase a Bluetooth or a wired headset. In addition, many states do not allow text messaging while driving. No matter the law, it is always safest to save text messaging for when the vehicle is parked. When driving through other states, it is also best to use a hands-free device. Using Mobile Devices Securely Most people believe that their virtual identity and personal security is only at risk when they are online on personal computers. However, scammers are now beginning to target mobile device users. Scammers use phishing emails to try to gain access to bank account numbers, credit card numbers, passwords and other personally identifiable information. There are several steps that mobile device owners can follow to reduce their risk of these scams. Owners can install security software on their mobile device just as they do on personal computers. Owners should use a password to lock their mobile device, particularly if they use the device for mobile banking. Owners should use a different password for each site or application that they have. Owners should never click on links in emails that they are not sure are from the true company. Owners should update the software on their mobile devices whenever an update is offered. Owners should not provide personal information when their mobile phone is on a public WiFi network. Owners should only install trusted applications from well-known companies. Using All of the Features on Mobile Devices Mobile devices have many features outside of simple calling and texting options. However, many people do not make full use of everything on their calling and data plan or do not realize how many applications there are that could make their lives much simpler. For example, many smartphones come preloaded with maps that make use of technology that shows exactly where they are. Many of these map applications also provide audible directions, perfect for driving. In addition, many free mobile applications can help adults save time and money. Some notable examples include Mint for personal finances, RedLaser for comparison-shopping and GasBuddy for finding cheap gas. In addition, many retailers have their own applications that can make shopping at their store while mobile quite easy. Using Good Mobile Phone Etiquette Mobile phone etiquette is important for putting others first and for not bothering others with phone conversations and noises in inappropriate places. Some people who have mobile phones believe that they need to take every call immediately and that they need to be available to talk and text at every moment of each day. This is simply not the case. Mobile phones should be silenced or turned off in places that are inappropriate for phone calls, such as churches, libraries and hospitals. Mobile phones are great for screening calls. It is acceptable to have some calls go to voicemail. Mobile devices certainly do make life easier when they are used properly. In particular, they should be used safely within set laws and only while putting others first. In the end, however, they have the potential of saving consumers much time and money. Sarah Hendricks is a security expert on protecting users and businesses from hackers and data leakage. Users in the office, at home, or working remotely are all subject to attack. Sarah has teamed up with NQ Mobile anti virus software to keep mobile devices protected nation wide!