Marketers (and Criminals) Buzz About Mobile Tuesday

Fresh off the most successful Cyber Monday, which turned into a Cyber Week or even a Cyber Month, spanning from mid-November into December, marketers and advertisers are now positioning themselves for a 2012 Mobile Tuesday.

Forbes reports, “Consumers are going mobile in large numbers, and the 2011 holiday season proved it. IBM Coremetrics recently reported that consumers increased shopping on smartphones and tablets on Black Friday. Purchases made on mobile devices accounted for 9.8% of online sales, which is up 3.2% from last year. GSI announced a 254% increase in US mobile sales on Black Friday. PayPal Mobile announced a 516% increase in global mobile payment volume over last year, and eBay Mobile reported US purchases were nearly two and a half times what they were last year.”

Criminals are paying attention.

The National Cyber Security Alliance and McAfee released a study showing that in the last six months, 50% of Americans have used smartphones to research potential purchases, 27% have used them to shop, 12% have used them to shop at auction websites, specifically, and 18% have used their phones to make online payments.

To stay safe while mobile shopping this holiday season:

1. Keep mobile security software current. The latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

2. Automate software updates. Many software programs can update automatically to defend against known risks. If this is an available option, be sure to turn it on.

Retailers should be aware that criminals aren’t just using desktops to commit fraud, but are also making purchases with stolen credit card information via mobiles and tablets. They should adopt security technology that actually recognizes and analyzes the PCs, smartphones, and tablets being used to access their websites. Once a device has been identified, its reputation can be assessed in real-time to determine the risk of fraud. Is the device exhibiting suspicious behavior, or it already known to have been used for fraud, money laundering, or account takeovers?

Examining a device’s reputation allows businesses to know which online transactions are trustworthy beforehand, rather than waiting until fraud has already occurred.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses Mobile Security on Cyber Monday on Fox Washington. Disclosures