I am thinking about all the new ways mobile technology saved me from potential road rage in the mall parking lot this past weekend (especially Friday). To be precise, I much prefer the idea of strolling around various stores before Thanksgiving, find things I like, and snap a picture to see if I can buy it on line and have it delivered. Using my mobile to shop online is not really fair on the brick & mortar store that I use to find ideas, and if you consider that I’ve hacked more mobile phones than I care to admit this year, I thought I’d work towards karmic balance and provide three holiday shopping tips for safe commerce on your mobile.
Well, not your mobile of course but these are the tips I email my friends and loved ones to help them be a little more safe. In the spirit of the holiday season I provide them here for you to forward on as well:
1. Use a password to protect access to your mobile phone. It might feel inconvenient. But not as much as losing your personal information and the ability to update your status on Facebook to a complete stranger.
2. Don’t shop with your mobile phone in a public Wi-Fi hotspot. What’s less secure, a public Wi-Fi hotspot or a “rogue” hotspot set up by fraudsters? The latter of course, though only just... why chance fate? Use your mobile phone service provider’s Internet connection instead. Perhaps if you are lucky someone will buy you a bigger data plan this year?
3. Watch for phishing emails and texts sent to your mobile phone. Evil doers can pose as a legitimate retailer with "one in a life time deals" that are only available now! The reality is they are seeking personal or financial information that you should never give out. If an attachment or link in an email or text looks suspicious, don’t click on it. That will avoid having “wipe phone” on your new year’s resolution list. PS – recommended reading, published today: “Gadgets Unchain Cashiers” (Wall Street Journal) and “Black Friday, Cyber Monday euphoria: Clicks cannibalize bricks” (Between the Lines blog, ZDNet)