Hackers accessing your accounts through apps?

LOS ANGELES Could hackers be getting access to the apps on your /*iPhone*/ and /*iPad*/?

/*Apple*/ has not issued any official response to reports of unauthorized use or hacking into user accounts, but it doesn't matter who makes your mobile device. The threat from hackers and scammers is there.

With a little help from internet security experts, we have ideas to help protect you and your smartphone and computer tablet.

"There's an app for that" has become a very popular expression because of the massive amount of application software programs available for smartphones and the new tablet computers.

Recently, there was a report that hackers were able to get into consumers' /*iTunes*/ accounts and download music without authorization.

There have also been reports of consumers downloading an app they thought was free only to be charged $100 or more on their credit card later.

Inevitably, the hacking will get worse.

Mike Romo is with /*Symantec*/, makers of /*Norton Antivirus*/ software.

"We'll see more threats as people continue to move away from the PC for normal day-to-day communications and viewing media and looking more at smartphones and tablets," Romo said.

Romo says they have an app for that, meaning they are about to launch protection for smart devices.

But beyond the use of software, you should also:

  • Use password protection that is complex.
  • Before downloading an app, look for hidden charges and read all terms and conditions.
  • Also, check your credit card bills regularly making sure to dispute unwanted charges immediately.
Or, you can take Romo's suggestion:

"When you hear reports about, there's a new product, there's a new application available, take a look at the ratings," Romo says. " What I like to do, I like to click on the most critical reviews first and then read up to see where the problems are."

One other suggestion Romo had is to use gift cards to make purchases on the Web. That way you are liable only for the amount you spend and there is no risk of identity theft or fraudulent use of your credit card.

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