07 Dec 2011

Smartphones can be safe for shopping if safety precautions are taken

When using a smartphone for anything involving payments or sensitive information, users should be careful, especially when putting a credit card number into an e-commerce website. Mobile antivirus software could be a good first step, and AARP senior editor Carole Fleck outlined whether it's safe to make purchase on a smartphone.

Fleck said making purchases on a public Wi-Fi network could lead to identity theft or a stolen credit card, so users should make sure their antivirus software is updated, be on a secured network, avoid websites they are not familiar with and make sure websites they do shop on have good security. Users should also have unique passwords and should always monitor credit card statements.

"Having said all that, know that it's probably safest to shop at home using your own secure network. And you'll never have to get out of your pajamas and slippers," Fleck said.

The Federal Trade Commission said skilled thieves can steal identities in a number of ways online and offline, so online users should take precaution with internet security software.