Smartphones easy target for hackers; how to protect your personal information

(WXYZ) - Almost everyone has a smartphone where we all store tons of personal information.

So it's no wonder they have become a growing target among hackers.

Think about the sensitive information you store in your email, text message and on social media. How about in your mobile banking app?

Your smartphone is a gold mine for thieves and hackers, so why aren't you securing it properly?

McAfee security says 36% of us don't lock our mobile device with a passcode or pin. And if we do, we're not choosing the right passwords.

To keep your information secure. Here are a couple tips:

- iPhone users you have the option to create a stronger passcode. Under your settings, turn off the 'simple passcode' option and create one longer than four digits.

-Don't choose 1-2-3-4 or 1-1-1-1 or "password" as you pin.

-Browse securely! Look for https vs. http in the address bar when you use free WIFI like at a Starbucks or hotel.

-Better yet, don't use the free WIFI. Use your mobile provider's 3G or 4G service instead.

-Logout and create different passwords for each application.

Many of us secure our home computers and laptops - items that may never leave our house - but we fail to lock our smartphone, making us an easy target for hackers.

For more digital, tech and social media news follow Meghan Brennan on Twitter @MeghanBrennan.

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