Though fun and even useful, free apps can pose security risks to your users and your business
The old adage “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” has more than a kernel of truth to it when it comes to free applications. Free apps seem harmless, and they’re very tempting. Who doesn’t want a free version of Angry Birds? What’s wrong with a free banking app from your credit card company? But even if the app itself is legitimate and thoroughly vetted, it can still pose a security risk to the device it’s running on. Free apps are more dangerous to your employees and your network than they appear at first glance.
People can easily download a wide range of free apps for their smartphones and tablets as well as for your company’s computers. From wildly popular games like Angry Birds Space (which was downloaded three million times in only three days) to fitness trackers and social media tools, there’s a free app for anything anyone would want to do on his or her mobile device. Likewise, the Internet is teeming with free apps to customize desktops and work more easily. But the problem with free is that the program use is almost always paid for through advertising or information gathering—and it’s in those aspects where the danger often lies. Read More »
Tags: free apps, mobile devices, security, small_business, Smartphones
It’s no secret that people are forming personal attachments to their iPhones, Android phones, and other “smartphone” devices.
In fact, in a recent Pew Research Center study, respondents used adjectives such as “awesome,” “great,” “essential,” “indispensable,” “good,” and “excellent” to describe how they feel about their treasured mobile devices.
This love affair is driving skyrocketing sales of smartphones: by 2015, eMarketer estimates that 58 percent of all mobile users in the United States (149 million people) will own smartphones, while in the European Union, more than 50 percent will own them by 2014. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, IBSG, mobile marketing, mobile payments, mobility, retail, shopper services, Smartphones, store operations
By Bill Gerhardt, Director, IBSG Service Provider
As you’ve probably noticed, mobile computing is exploding. My home has close to 10 mobile devices, and my kids want even more! According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, this insatiable demand for smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices will double globally in 2012 and increase another 78 percent by 2014.
At the same time, Cisco IBSG is seeing a similar rise in the worldwide popularity of Wi-Fi. In fact, according to In-Stat, the number of Wi-Fi hotspots is expected to reach 2.7 million, with usage growing 200 percent, by 2014.
Given this, how can service providers—who must bear the burden of increased traffic—actually Read More »
Tags: broadband, business models, Cisco, Computing, hotspots, IBSG, mobile, service providers, Smartphones, SPs, Tablets, wi-fi
When employees use their own devices for work, there’s no such thing as a personal security breach
It’s no exaggeration to say that mobile smart devices have changed the way people work. With smartphone in hand, employees now expect to be able to check email from their kid’s baseball game, finalize financial transactions on the fly, and log into cloud-based services at the gym—not to mention play Angry Birds whenever they want. The downside to this round-the-clock connectivity is the security risk it can introduce to your network and, because devices are personally owned, the difficulty of locking them down. These days, there’s no such thing as a personal security breach. A security incident on a personal device can put your entire network at risk.
Read More »
Tags: security, security_breach, small_business, Smartphones
There’s a lot of buzz in industry circles these days about the impact of “showrooming” on brick-and-mortar brands. Witness the excellent overview by Ann Zimmerman in the April 11 US edition of the Wall Street Journal, “Can Retailers Halt ‘Showrooming?’”
Ms. Zimmerman notes the anti-showrooming efforts of such retailers as Target and Walmart, and the challenge of meeting-and-beating pure play pricing and assortment breadth.
And, she also gets to the core of the issue: It’s not about competition between stores and pure play websites. It’s about competition between the websites of brick-and-mortar brands, and the websites of the pure plays.
We live in the era of Google, an era of web-based search, an era where just about any detail of just about anything can be found on the Internet. Studies of recent shopper behavior show a steady climb in the number of US shoppers who begin their purchase journey with online research. Nearly two-thirds of US adults do so regularly.
The Internet is the front door to all retail brands these days – not just the pure plays. It’s where shoppers are initially won or lost – and where store traffic is increasingly generated.
This means two things to brick-and-mortar brands:
Read More »
Tags: Ann Zimmerman, e-commerce, Jon Stine, mobile shopping, multi-channel retailing, omni-channel retailing, research online buy offline, retail technology, ROBO, showrooming, Smartphones, wall street journal