updated 12/20/2012 6:19:49 PM ET 2012-12-20T23:19:49

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a new 10-step plan for smartphone users on how to keep their data and devices safe.

The online guide offers users information on what to do to mitigate damage and fraud if their smartphones do become infected, lost or stolen. Users are able to select from a list of popular devices that modify the content with tailored links specific to that device.

Some of the tips are pretty obvious: Lock your phone with a unique PIN, back up important data often and don't install third-party apps. Others, however, are worth being reminded of every once in a while.

Smartphone users should carefully check the permissions an app would like to use before granting it access. Failure to do can and often results in SMS toll fraud and lost and stolen data.

By that same token, users should not use unfamiliar or untrusted Wi-Fi hotspots , especially to conduct sensitive transactions such as account transfers or online purchases.

The FCC also cautions users not to jailbreak their phones, as that action bypasses many of the built-in security features makers install to protect the user from himself.

Before you get rid of your smartphone , the FCC cautions, be sure to wipe it clean of all data, including photos, contacts and emails. In fact, resetting a phone to factory settings before selling or donating it is an even better idea.

The FCC came up with the new guidelines in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Trade Commission and industry leaders in mobile communications and digital security.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily


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