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Despite these harsh economic times, parents have a single-minded goal this Christmas—to make this the best one ever for their children.

Among the standard list of gadgetry on wish lists this Christmas is the smart phone. These miniature but powerful devices are equipped with games, ringtones and a multitude of applications, or apps. This makes them a high priority for teens, and the parents like them for the GPS locators and parent controls. Most parents agree that having their kids a simple phone call away is well worth the cost of a cell phone.

Unfortunately, identity thieves love smart phones, too! They go after children and smart phones when they are at their most vulnerable.

Basic ringtones are always available with new cell phones. The market for cool and funny ring tones is considerable, and most can be downloaded for free. However, many of these “free” ringtones are offered by identity thieves to entice unsuspecting victims.  Often what is downloaded is a great deal more dangerous than a ringtone.  Many of these sites can attach viruses used to steal your identity, including personal information.

Parents should protect themselves by enforcing firm rules for children using smart phones. Here are the top 3 guidelines for keeping your personal business as well as children safe and secure:

  1. Avoid sending text messages to receive free ringtones.
  2. It may be uncool, but use the ring tone that came with the phone.  It is the only way to guarantee your identity will not be stolen.  Only buy ringtones from reputable cell phone service providers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.  Read the terms and conditions before you allow your kids to make any purchases.

  3. Avoid keeping any personal information on your phone.
  4. For example banking or credit card numbers, or even dates of birth should not accessible on your cell phone.  Less personal information on a phone means thieves have less to work with.

  5. Use a PIN Number to Access your Phone.
  6. Most smart phones have the added capacity of setting a PIN number for the phone. But users generally never use that option considering it a hassle. To increase safety, set a PIN number that you and your child can remember.  If the phone is lost or stolen, thieves will not be able to access the phone and get to personal information.
Help your children practice safe habits to keep them from losing their phones or leaving it unprotected where thieves can steal it.  Make sure they understand to let you know immediately if they can’t find their phone. Another way to protect yourself is by having insurance for your smart phone. Contact us today to get a free Missouri insurance quote or call (800) 530-5822 for details.
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mary brown said...
What a great post! I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us. I have bookmarked this site and will be sure to check for updates. Keep up the good work! exede broadband
SATURDAY, MAY 12 2012 6:51 AM

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