Mobile Safety for the Holidays
Mobile Safety for the Holidays
It’s literally a brand new world when it comes to Holiday shopping this year. You’ll be surprised at how many of us are using our mobile phones and tablets to help us gather up gifts and get the biggest bang for our hard earned bucks. You’ll also be surprised at some of the hazards that come with the territory. Bottom line: You can never be too careful.
American-born physicist Michio Kaku says that today our cell phones have “more computer power than all of NASA back in 1969 when it sent two astronauts to the moon.” This is a startling reality into today’s fast-paced world and how much processing power we possess on these ubiquitous little computers we carry around with us. You may, in fact, be one of the millions who are using mobile devices for your holiday shopping needs this season. Here are some of the things we are doing:
But with all these ultra-convenient ways to do your mobile shopping, there are risks involved. A report by Lookout, a company dedicated to safe mobile use, recently reported on their blog that during the first half of 2011 “more than one hundred thousand phishing attacks, targeting frequently visited social networking sites like banking sites, government agencies and donation websites took place. The same source states that 1% of Facebook users have been victims of phishing attacks. That doesn’t sound like much, but if you do the math, that is upwards of over 5 million Facebook users!
Mobile phishing attacks of this type are more frequent than anyone might think, and this presents a challenge simply because it is generally more difficult to spot a phishing site on a mobile device. A Blackberry phone, for example, doesn’t even display a URL bar, so there’s no way to check to see if the website you’ve been directed to is legit or not.
This means that this Holiday season, while using your mobile devices to search for the best deals, you need to be extra cautious that the links you’re clicking and the information you’re sending out is not for the benefit of crooks and no-goodniks that want to steal your information, your identity, and your money. Scams to be aware of include:
Also, make sure you know who is sending you the link. If it’s unknown source, it’s best not to click, no matter how tempting the offer might be. If you have already clicked on a link, be sure to check the URL in your mobile browser, and try to determine if it’s a real site. Remember that legitimate sites, such as the Red Cross and other disaster donation and charity sites, rarely ask you for a Pin code, drivers’ license, phone number, or your date of birth. Be sure to look carefully at any site you’re on. If something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. Any bank or financial services website that asks you to input account information and password should have a secure symbol – normally a lock logo in the address bar or “HTTPS” at the front of the URL address.
You should also download an application on your mobile device that can check every website you visit to ensure your safety and the safety of your information. Your best bet is to make sure you maintain holiday safety with Norton by simply installing Norton Mobile Security. Not only does it protect you from malicious sites, but it also protects your physical mobile device if it gets lost or stolen.
There are more options available than ever this year on getting great deals during your holiday shopping sprees. Using your mobile device will not just save you money, but will also save you time. But as you navigate these options, be wary and aware of the scams that are as prevalent as ever. Be smart, patient, focused, and protected.