PayPal Issues Warnings with Regard to Commerce Mobile Security
By Ina Steiner
PayPal and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) have advice for consumers who use mobile devices to access the Internet. The two entities unveiled findings from a Zogby Poll highlighting the latest trends, concerns and misperceptions around mobile security and commerce.
The national survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults highlighted the growing importance of mobile devices as a tool for shopping, with one in four respondents reporting that they complete at least one transaction per day on their smartphone, while one in six say they make at least 25 percent of all their purchases on their smartphone.
However, PayPal said many people aren't taking the steps necessary to use their mobile devices safely. Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe that storing payment information on their smartphone is unsafe, and 63 percent of people do not have a clear idea about what financial information is stored on their smartphones and more than half don't lock their mobile device with a PIN.
"The survey results clearly indicate that consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to conduct transactions," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. "However, they also show that consumers need to get more active about mobile security, especially around basic security measures such as adding a PIN code or password to their devices and understanding what kinds of information their devices store."
The survey was conducted in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Mobile safety tips include:
- Always activate a PIN or lock function for your mobile device: A PIN is the simplest and most important thing you can do to ensure security on your mobile device especially if it is lost or stolen.
- Automate software updates: Many software programs automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates on your mobile device if that’s an available option.
- Use common sense when downloading apps: Unknown or repackaged apps can contain malware designed to steal financial information from a mobile device, so always purchase or download apps from companies that you trust and check reviews. When installing new applications, review permissions and decide whether you're comfortable granting the access that an application asks for.
- Enable "Find My Device": If your phone, carrier or antivirus software supports the "find my device" feature, it’s a good idea to activate it. This functionality will help you find your device if it’s lost or stolen, and lock it or wipe it clean remotely if you need to.
- Backup your device: It is critical to backup your device on a regular basis. Some operating systems offer this option as an automated service. If you ever need to exercise the remote wipe feature mentioned above, you will be glad you have a current backup that you can recover to a new device.
NCSA and PayPal will discuss the survey results and mobile security tips during a Mobile & On the Go Twitter Chat on Thursday, October 10 at 3 pm EST. Participants can use the hashtag #ChatSTC to join. More information is available at stopthinkconnect.org.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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