As the number of people using mobile devices for sensitive banking or e-commerce transactions increases, it follows that mobile security threats are on the rise. According to Symantec, the instances actually doubled between 2010 and 2011. At the same time, 35% of adults worldwide reported loss or theft of their mobile device. With it, they lose a mine of personal data that could be used to steal their identity.
And with how simple tablets/smartphones make shopping and banking, it can be easy for people to forget about security concerns, said Sue Jin Davis, VP of strategic services for Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). “The spontaneous transactions that can happen over mobile devices are making customers less aware of threats. This is a customer awareness issue as well.”
Comcast recently launched Constant Guard Mobile to protect Xfinity customers from phishing attempts, identity theft and connecting to fraudulent websites. “We want customers to believe Comcast offers the most secure way to use the Internet,” Davis said. “No one else offers these kinds of protection … if this means customers stay with us longer … or if a customer comes to us for that … that is an achievement.”
It follows, then, that the company’s information campaign about this app aims to educate consumers not only about the security product, but also about safety on the Internet in general. “We believe in self-help and educating the customer,” Davis said. “We are putting the tools in their hands and creating awareness … as part of our (effort) to make our service more meaningful to the customer.”
Constant Guard Mobile is designed to mesh with Comcast’s PC/Laptop security product. Working in tandem, the two apps will sync financial, email or social networking accounts so the customer does not have to re-input information into favorite sites.
Additional features include automatic and secure entering of login information to prevent fraud, a privacy service that searches the Web for personal information and deletes it, and the completion of payment authorization forms at checkout so credit card information does not have to be stored on sites.
“(Consumers) can literally see which websites are safer than others,” Davis added. “When they are searching on a particular subject, they can see a designation that the site is safe.”
Monta Monaco Hernon is a free-lance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.