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Mobile identity theft a growing threat - Infographic

12/31/2013 According to CBS News, a recent survey showed that 85 percent of the American population is mobile-equipped. Globally, the number of smartphones in use has already topped 1 billion, and researchers expect that number to double by 2015, PINow reported.

The threat of identity theft hasn't shown signs of stopping, either. According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, a total loss of $21 billion was suffered by U.S. households due to the crimes of identity thieves in 2013, up from $13.2 billion in 2010.

The parallel trends are particularly worrisome because of the complexity with which users' identities are often linked to their smart devices.

"The real concern is you start to have banking information, personal information, other sorts of data on the cellphone … The hackers are always really one step ahead of everyone else, because they're going where the money is … Whatever you're saying or doing may not be as private as you think," white-hat hacker Michael Gregg told CBS News.

Yet mobile users appear to be failing to adapt their habits to the threat of mobile identity theft. According to Credit Donkey, the recent Javelin Identity Fraud Report found that 62 percent of mobile users don't lock their screens with a passcode, while 32 percent store their personal login information on their devices. Further, a Credit Donkey survey found that 68.4 percent of users don't vary their passwords across different Web and mobile sites.

Meanwhile, mobile security threats have grown by 350 percent in the past three years, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

The danger is real, and if you haven't already reconsidered your mobile security habits, the time is now. If you need added assurance that your identity will be safe in case your phone is hacked or stolen, ProtectCELL has plans that go where mobile phone insurance does not, providing data and identity protection for your smart device.

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