As a growing number of companies focus on encouraging smartphone shopping, a need for protection rises.
As m-commerce and other new technologies such as smartphone wallets grow in popularity, consumer advocates are sending out cautions to consumers that they need to place a greater focus on mobile security in order to protect their sensitive information and identity data from thieves.
Shopping over a smartphone uses a considerable amount of personal information which may not be kept safe.
The latest m-commerce apps allow consumers to purchase products and services, book tickets, obtain airline boarding passes, buy and use gift cards and even store credit card data. There are some considerable advantages to using a smartphone in this way, as it can mean that purchases can be made both online and even in store, where a device can double as a payment method. However, as long as mobile security issues continue to present potential problems, it means consumers may be taking an unexpected risk when using their mobile devices in such a way.
These mobile security risks will only continue as consumers use this technology to a greater degree.
According to estimates from the National Retail Federation, there will be over 1.5 billion devices being used for those purposes by 2018. This would mean that about one in every five smartphones will be used for mobile commerce and wallets with contactless technology.
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The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) deputy commissioner, Bill Biannini, explained that “Online shopping is becoming increasingly convenient due to a rise in mobile app use and the introduction of mobile wallets.” He also pointed out that “Unfortunately, with that ease comes a concern for the security of personal financial information.”
The Consumer Affairs Division at the TDCI has released a list of tips for consumers to follow when using mobile payments and m-commerce in order to help to keep their private data as safe as possible. At the same time, there has been a call to help to improve the mobile security of shopping and wallet apps in order to make it easier for consumers to protect their sensitive information.