How to protect your smartphone from data breaches

In a FOX 32 special report: smartphone security.

In an age of data breaches and privacy scandals, we wanted to know how your information is being protected. FOX 32's Tia Ewing got a tour inside a top secret nerve center responsible for keeping your information safe.

There’s a hub of Verizon’s so-called nerve center in the Chicagoland area. Verizon won't let us tell you where the facility is. The carrier routes hundreds of millions of calls, texts and other data points every day.

“It's managing your calls, managing your mobility, knowing where you are,” Steve Van Dinter, Verizon PR manager.

Verizon says its physical barriers and battery backups are just a few examples of its commitment to protection and privacy.

“From encryption, to advance data monitoring to make sure your data is protected because we want to make sure that you've got confidence and the information you're sending - that it's not being looked at by anybody else,” said Steve.

Eric Berkowitz runs the Cyber Security Division at Roosevelt University. He says there are things every cell phone user should do right now to make sure they're secure.

First, endure the extra step of a login password.

“Whether it's a passcode, facial recognition, something so that someone can't just pick up your phone and use it if you leave it behind,” Eric said.

Next, don't underestimate how email on your phone could put you at risk.

Eric says hackers look for financial information in your inbox.

“When you get an email from your bank and you're done with it, delete it. When you get an email from your broker, delete it,” he said.

That could be the danger because the majority of us never do. And while you're at it, consider banking in person and not on your phone, and avoid public Wi-Fi.

“That might not be the best thing to do on your cell phone, and to wait to do it at home,” Eric said.

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