Do You Password Protect Your Smartphone?

A lot of people that wouldn’t have dreamed of using smartphones a few years ago are now iPhone, Blackberry and WinMo users. I’ve noticed a disturbing trend with my less geeky friends and family members though- almost none of them have set passwords to prevent unauthorized access.

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This is a pretty risky move considering how much personal data can be stored or accessed via smartphones. Applications can give a thief instant access to documents stored in the cloud. Business and personal email are just a tap away. Many banks use SMS or phone calls for multi-factor authentication for web access or password resets.

When I explain some of the risks of not using a passwords on mobile phones, some people immediately lock down their phones. Others say they don’t want to punch in a password every time they want to make a call or check email.

I have my iPhone 3Gs set to lock down after 15 minutes of inactivity. Do you have a password set on your smartphone? What about the less technical folks in your life?