FCC launches online smartphone security tools

The Federal Communications Commission has launched the Smartphone Security Checker to help consumers protect mobile devices.

To assist the more than 120 million American smartphone owners, the FCC launched the Smartphone Security Checker, an online tool to arm consumers with security steps customized by mobile operating system.

“With less than half of smartphone owners using passwords to protect their devices, this new tool will be of particular value to millions of Americans,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “The holiday gift-giving season is a perfect time to remind consumers to take simple steps, like setting a password, to protect themselves from mobile security threats.”

To use the tool, a consumer first selects their mobile-OS (Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows) and then follows 10 customized steps and tips to help protect their device.


The Smartphone Security Checker features best practices on how to set pins and passwords, where to find security apps, how to enable remote locating and data wiping, and how to backup and secure your data in case your device is lost or stolen.

There is also information on how to safely use public Wi-Fi networks and what steps to take if your phone is stolen.

The tool is the result of a public-private partnership between government experts, smartphone developers and private IT and security companies. Partners include Department of Homeland Security, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Federal Trade Commission, CTIA – The Wireless Association, Lookout, BlackBerry, Chertoff Group, Sophos, McAfee, Symantec and others.

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