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**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Protect Yourself When Using Mobile Apps as U.S. Military Bans TikTok

1/7/2020
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — With the U.S. Army, Coast Guard, and Air Force recently banning the popular video app TikTok on government-issued phones, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis cautions Floridians about data security risks associated with some mobile apps and offers consumer security tips.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “With the U.S. Military’s security concerns over the app TikTok, I urge all Floridians to use caution when downloading and using apps. With an estimated 4.2 millones apps available in the Google Play and Apple App Stores alone, you must remember to follow a few important safety tips to protect yourself and your families’ data from falling into the wrong hands.”
 
4 Mobile App Consumer Safety Tips
 
1. Beware of Malware. Hackers can create apps that contaminate phones and mobile devices with malicious software called malware. If your phone sends email or text messages that you didn’t write or installs apps that you didn’t download, you could be looking at signs of malware. Customer support for the device manufacture or your mobile phone carrier might be able to help resolve the issue.
2. Monitor your location data use. Some apps use location data to give you maps, coupons for nearby stores, or other information based on your location. Monitor app location permissions and remember location services can be completely disabled or configured for certain apps.
3. Protect your data by opting out. Remember that data aggregators might be tracking websites data, app usage and other device information. If you’re concerned about how your information is being shared, check the “privacy” settings on your device or look for ways to “opt-out” of data collection.
4. Monitor children’s app use. Many devices offer parental controls to enable administrators to restrict content. You can set a password to limit app downloads and turn off Wi-Fi and data services to limit internet access. It’s important to talk to your kids about your rules for using apps as well.
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