CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Much of the appeal for smartphones are the applications or "apps". They make it easy to access bank accounts or play a favorite game.
Most smartphones have their own stores where you can buy and download apps, but there are just as many applications available for download on the web.
That's where security experts warn consumers need to be careful.
"The prohibition era thief Willie Sutton said he robbed the banks because that's where the money was and it's the same thing now, this is where your money is, banking online, from your handheld device," data security attorney Ted Claypoole told WBTV.com.
A wallpaper app for the Google Android is actually designed to reveal data that can disclose your exact location.
A different app targeting Windows based phones secretly initiates a long distance call to a foreign country. The charges for those calls go straight to the hacker's pocket.
"The Google phones have a different philosophy, they allow more and different apps into their store and don't review them as closely, that may change in the future, but their thought was to open it up and allow more apps to come in and have a bigger store, where as Apple thought to have a more closed store, except to know more about what each of those applications is."
Claypoole favors the Apple app store for the best security. He hopes other companies will tighten the scrutiny of applications coming in, but he notes responsibility is also up to the consumer to make sure convenience doesn't cost someone more than they're willing to pay.
"If you're getting a piece of information or a piece of software from a reliable source; that's not a guarantee that it's not going to cause you problems, but its more likely not to cause you problems."