May 27, 2016
At a yearly convention, where 20,000 hackers come together to share trade secrets. John Hering, a confessed hacker and cofounder of the mobile security company Lookout, says “any system can be broken – it’s just knowing how to break it.”
Those are extremely unsettling words when you consider just how many people use their smartphones for business and personal use. However, 25 percent of adults were concerned that their phones would be hacked or their personal data could be intercepted.
With the growth of eCommerce, it’s not surprising that people are concerned about hackers getting their personal information. However, there are some easy and simple ways you can reduce your risk when buying anything from your smartphone. Here’s the top tips to keep your smartphone – and your eCommerce busiess – safe.
Avoid Registering on Sites
Many eCommerce platforms don’t require buyers to register before they purchase anything. Selz has a “Buy it Now” button that does not require customers to register and simply sends buyers to a checkout page. If you’re concerned about security, buy from businesses that have secure and streamlined checkout processes, and don’t force you to register.
Use a Prepaid Card for mCommerce
For those worried about financial transaction, avoid using your personal banking accounts. Instead, use prepaid debit or credit cards that have a set limit. For example, many have a flexible limit and aren’t linked to personal information. Consumers can use prepaid cards for all eCommerce transactions and only add enough money to cover these transactions.
Avoid Free and Public Wifi Networks
According to Robert Graham, CEO of consultancy Errata Security, “if you’re using Wi-Fi in a public place and you’re not getting hacked, it’s only because there’s nobody around bothering to do it.”
Many coffee shops, shopping malls, and chain restaurants offer free or public hotspots – after all, it’s a way to draw customers to their business and entice them to longer stays. However, the risk of an attack increases whenever you’re connected to unsecured Wi-Fi networks. While they may be convenient, they’re also very risky.
Use Encrypted Messaging Apps
When it comes to free messaging apps, sometimes you get what you pay for. These messaging systems may allow users to communicate over any wifi connection, but they’re convenience comes at a high-security cost. To be on the safe side, only use messaging apps that use end-to-end encryption like Signal or Threema.
Smarter Smartphone Users
The average person checks their phone 46 times per day… and millennials look at their phones up to 74 times per day!
People are now addicted to the convenience of smartphones and want to use them for any internet action, including eCommerce. Just as users need to be educated on how to use new technology, consumers need to learn how to reduce any risk associated with mobile shopping. Apps, platforms, and websites can certainly improve their security, but users also need to become smarter mobile users.
Because if hackers are looking for ways to attack us, we need to find ways to defend ourselves, not give up using our smartphones.
Image Credit to Ervins Strauhmanis / Flickr.
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