Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 Windows smartphones (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Amanda Sutton panicked when someone stole her smartphone.
"Who knows what they could do with that information? I mean, there's pictures and bank cards and emails," she says.
Amanda did not take steps to protect her personal information. She is not alone, according to a national a survey conducted by Consumer Reports.
"Nearly 40 percent of smartphone users don't take actions to secure their phones, like backing up their data or simply setting a screen lock," says Simon Slater.
Even with a lock, experts say a tech-savvy thief can quickly crack certain four digit passcodes.
So, it's far safer setting a longer code that includes letters and symbols.
Android phones let you do it by going to settings, but then each phone is a little different.
On one Android phone, you go to "security" then "screen lock" which takes you to the password reset.
But for another Android phone, you have to tap "lock screen" and then "screen lock" in order to change the password.
iPhones are even tricker. You have to go under "settings", hit "general", then "passcode lock". The next step, tap the simple passcode off" and then tap "turn passcode on."
Now you can enter a longer passcode.
Here's another security risk, apps like a particularly simple flashlight that ask to do too much.
It wants to know your location and information about your phone calls.
And, you should secure your child's phone, too.
The Consumer Reports survey projects at least five million preteens have their own smartphone.
And, malicious software on your smartphone, though not common, is a growing problem.
So, it is recommended that you get your apps only from reputable sources.
Android users should stick with Amazon's App store or Google Play.
For iPhone users, Apple's App store is the only reputable source for you.