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Smartphone Users Warned About Risks

Last updated on Friday, December 14, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - An online security expert says almost three-quarters of us will do some online shopping during this holiday season.

Eric Halvorson of WISH TV8 reports that it is likely to lead to $1.5 billion in spending nationwide.

Robert Siciliano of the McAfee company says that's because of "bad guys" who are going after us online.

For years, we've been warned about what might happen to us through our desktop computers. But, Siciliano says, "mobile phones are just like a laptop or a desktop. They're just little computers and susceptible to viruses just like your OS on your desktop."

Blackberries and iPhones have fared well, according to Sicliano. "Androids are a big target." So, "it's important to have anti-virus on your mobile phone." Siciliano told 24-Hour-News 8 an anti-virus program may be the only way to uncover the presence of malware, unless the smart device starts acting up. The virus programs tend to run "in the background."

The malicious apps may just spy on you. They may "compromise" your contact list. The "really bad" ones will invade your privacy.

To protect yourself, Sicliano suggested downloading apps only from trusted sources -- such as the Apple store or Google Play for Android devices. He said their apps are more likely to be vetted before release. Going to third party providers is "when you often get malicious apps that can compromise your information."

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