Apparently I'm not the only adult out there with a saucy phone habit. One in 5 Americans admit to sexting (which leads us to believe that even more people are doing it on the sly), and 11% of them say they record explicit videos on their phones, according to a recent Harris Interactive survey of over 2,000 adults, sponsored by Lookout Mobile Security.
But here's the problem: We always have our phones out. This makes us more likely to accidentally expose our uncensored selves to unintended audiences, and more vulnerable to phone loss or theft. So far, about 7 in 10 people can relate to having lost a phone, says Alicia diVittorio, mobile safety advocate at Lookout Mobile Security. And while you can't control who sees your naked fun-time pics after you hit send, you can control what happens ifÃ¢â‚¬”or perhaps, whenÃ¢â‚¬”your phone's explicit archives fall into the wrong hands.
Keep unwelcome eyes far from your phone's private parts with diVittorio's tips for safer sexting:
1. Turn off pop-up notifications. Sure, setting texts to pop up on your screen is convenient for you, but it also exposes every message to anyone in your company. "Even if you're not sexting, it's a basic privacy precaution to turn off your pop-ups," diVittorio says.
2. Set a passcode. And make it strong. How? Well, it depends on what type of phone you have. For iPhones, diVittorio suggests using a complex number combination (eg, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make your four-digit password the same number repeated). On Androids, make your password as complicated as you can remember. And clean your screen frequently so a snooper canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make out the pattern. Your finger can leave a telling smudge!
3. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t drink and text. Phones and booze don't mix: we've known this since Rachel drunk-dialed Ross. Besides making a fool of yourself, you could easily lose your phoneÃ¢â‚¬“particularly if your buzz hits during the wee-hours of the night. Two-thirds of phone losses happen between 10 pm and 2 am, diVittorio says.
4. Lock and wipe. Download a free app (such as Lookout) that can help you find your missing phone or remotely lock and wipe your data. That way, wherever your phone ends up, your secrets are safe.
photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock More from WH:
Rules of Texting: Guys Speak Out
Protect Your Facebook Privacy
Talk Nerdy to Me: Tech for Hotter Sex
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