Deposited a check on your smartphone?
Paid for something on a public Wi-Fi network?
Given your personal information to an app you just downloaded?
Yet how many mobile security tools have you downloaded to protect yourself during those transactions?
Although a growing number of Americans use their smartphones for banking, payments and social media, many fail to consider that mobile check deposits or credit card payments may make their personal and financial information more vulnerable to theft and fraud.
A 2013 study from the Pew Research Center reported that 63 percent of cellphone owners use their phone to go online, and one-third of these users access the Internet mostly through their phone, not their personal computer. The same year, Bank of America reported the number of consumers logging on to the bank's mobile app surpassed the number accessing the online platform.
"With the growth of mobile banking apps, people are doing more and more sensitive tasks on their mobile devices, and that is only going to increase as mobile devices just become more prolific," says Joe Osborne, senior editor of TechRadar, an online publication that reviews technology products.
Experts warn that the rise in mobile banking and other Internet phone use leads to greater cybersecurity threats.
"We tend to think of these devices as nothing more than a phone with a camera, but they really are as complex in collecting all of your data the same way your computer would," says Eva Casey Velasquez, president and CEO of the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center, which aids victims of identity theft.
Despite these threats, there are steps you can take to make your phone less vulnerable. For example, just like you can download security software on your desktop, you can download mobile apps to keep your phone safe from security threats. Here are five apps security experts say will protect your personal information. Read more at U.S. News & World Report....