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FCC releases online 'smartphone security checker' to help customers set passwords and back up data

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A "10-step smartphone action plan"

iPhone PIN code unlock
iPhone PIN code unlock

The FCC is reaching out directly to consumers with a new tool, launched today, that gives smartphone owners a security checklist for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone devices. Citing a 350 percent-increase in "mobile security threats" since 2010, the agency says that the new checker is intended to "help consumers protect their mobile devices this holiday season." The checker allows users to select their OS of choice, and then spits out a bulleted list of tips for, among other things, setting PINs and passwords, installing apps from "trusted sources," installing patches, and being "smart on open Wi-Fi networks." The tool is available now on the FCC's website.