Jim Yates, the President of First Education Federal Credit Union, says people need to pay more attention to smartphone security.

He says he's seen studies stating a near 65 percent of Americans will own a smartphone by 2016. He says he believes the percentage in the Cheyenne area is probably already higher than that.

But, while people usually take steps to protect their home computers from people trying to steal personal information and from viruses, they often forget about their smartphones, Jim Yates says. In fact, he says smartphones are even more vulnerable because thieves can steal your phone easier than they can a computer, at your home.

Three smart security steps:

  1. install malware and anti-virus protection
  2. encryption is also a good idea
  3. use the longest code allowed

Yates says the first step is to keep your smartphone updated, and install malware and anti-virus protection. He says only about 15 percent of smartphone users have anti-malware protection on their phones.

Yates says encryption is also a good idea, so if someone steals your phone they can't get your personal information without the passcode. He also says, you should use an actual passcode, because some of the newer facial recognition and fingerprint recognition technology isn't very effective yet.

Finally, Yates says you should try to use the longest code allowed. You should also avoid obvious passwords such as your name, or the word "password" and other such words that could be easily guessed by a thief.