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Schemes and Rip Offs: Phone and Tablet Hackers - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Schemes and Rip Offs: Phone and Tablet Hackers

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One of the holiday's most popular gifts, smart phones and tablets, could be one of the most popular targets for scammers this year.

According to Silicon Valley security company McAfee, mobile devices will be the number one target for hackers in 2012.

McAfee's Gary Davis says, "Mobile devices are far behind where PCs are from a security perspective."

Davis says hackers will take advantage of that lack of security to get viruses into your phone and tablet and try to steal your personal data.

"They can put it into your device, and while you're doing a banking transaction, it could step in, capture the transaction, then take control of your bank and drain all of your money."

And how's this for a 2012 trend? A mash-up between the occupiers and high-tech hackers. McAfee calls it the rise of the "hacktivist."

"Hacktivists may take a major bank, do a denial of service attack for like an hour, while the occupiers are surrounding the bank and picketing," Davis said.  "So we'll see more coordinated efforts between both the physical and the virtual, though hacktivism."

You may have a new device - and that's cool, but it's also dangerous. Keep it safe this new year because it's vulnerable from threats both real and virtual.

The advice we're hearing about protecting yourself?  Treat your mobile device like your home computer.  Update your virus-fighting software, and be wary of emails, tweets, and other links that are from unfamiliar places.

If you're looking for some help the website Fresh Tech Tips reviewed anti-virus programs for your smart phone and named the 7 they like best.

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