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Smartphone owners must do more to protect their PINs or risk financial loss, it has been claimed,

According to a government-sanctioned internet security site, over two thirds of smartphone owners are making themselves susceptible to identity theft because of inadequate mobile phone security.

GetSafeOnline.org has released a report showing that the majority of smartphones who have access to the internet are not protected by basic PIN codes.

Without this, experts say that it is simple for a third party to steal contact information and other personal details stored on a smartphone.

Mobile internet services are used by 28 per cent of the mobile-owning population and young people are the most prolific users.

Nearly 17 per cent of mobile users also perform online banking and store financial details on their mobiles.

GetSafeOnline's Tony Neate said: "smartphones are a great way to make the most of the web and it's easy to see why they are so popular.

"However, users must remember that they are essentially carrying around a tiny laptop with a wealth of personal information that is very attractive to fraudsters."

Mr Neate also claimed that criminals were becoming increasingly concerned with the digital content of a stolen phone rather than the value of the handset itself and that ensuring that simple PIN codes were activated was a great way to avoid being stung.

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