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Americans Admit To Keeping Private Lives on Smartphones

smartphone-habit-110726-02 Credit: Dreamstime.com

Important work files, personal contacts and even racy photos are just some of the things being stored on mobile phones, new research shows.

A study by NQ Mobile found that nearly 90 percent of consumers have content on their smartphones that they'd rather keep private. For more than half of smartphone owners, that includes family photos and private contacts, while 40 percent said they have important office documents on their mobile phone that shouldn't be seen by others.

Some of the items being stored on mobile phones could cause embarrassing for smartphone owners if others saw them.  Thirty-five percent of those surveyed are keeping flirty texts there, while 15 percent are storing sexyphotos of themselves on their smartphones.

"You don't need to be a celebrity to have things on your phone you'd rather others not see," said Conrad Edwards, chief experience officer for NQ Mobile. "There are some very basic things smartphone owners can do to make sure no one ever does."

[10 Most Likely Places to Lose Your Cell Phone]

NQ Mobile offers several tips for those intent on keeping their mobile devices private, including:

  • Lock it Up: Leaving smartphones unlocked leaves sensitive information vulnerable to snoopers and thieves. Using the auto-lock capabilities of the device is one of the simplest steps of protection. Take it one step further by setting a short timer.
  • Share Wisely: Don't make it easy for a hacker to gather enough personal information to get access to bank accounts and more by sharing too many personal details on social networks. Just like in real life, be careful about what information you share with social connections.
  • Do Your Research: The ability to install apps is one of the greatest things about smartphones; however, don't download one until verifying it is safe and secure. Read the privacy policy to make sure you're comfortable with both the amount and type of information you're consenting to give out. Also, make sure the user reviews for the apps are plentiful and positive. 
  • Arm Your Device: Install reputable security apps that can prevent private data from getting out and protect against malicious intrusions.

The study was based on surveys of 1,000 adults who use a smartphone or tablet on a regular basis.

Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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