Mobile Commerce Requires Security

By J. Gerry Purdy  |  Posted 2010-08-25 Print this article Print

Mobile commerce requires security

Think about what it's going to be like to use your smartphone or tablet to manage mobile commerce. You'll be checking bank balances, transferring funds, buying stuff online, using coupons, etc. You'll eventually see Near Field Communication (NFC) chips added to wireless handheld devices so they can be used as a mobile wallet in retail stores. And you'll be storing thousands of songs, photos and videos in these devices as well. Wireless handhelds are going to hold a lot of personal information. And, when that happens, security is going to be a very important part of the entire user experience.

For example, what if someone picks up your wireless handheld and starts transferring funds to their account? Or what if they buy things? Or what if someone simply extracts the information off your wireless handheld? Or what if you lose your handheld? Or what if it's stolen? As more important information resides on your handheld, the more valuable the wireless handheld becomes to you. At this point it becomes very important to add security precautions to prevent unauthorized access or use.

In order to protect your wireless handheld device, you'll need to have a combination of password protection, encryption and biometrics (such as fingerprint verification so each mobile commerce transaction can verify it's really you and not someone else claiming to be you). Perhaps Intel will buy a biometric security firm such as UPEK and integrate the fingerprint verification sensor and cursor controller into millions of wireless handheld devices.

J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., is Principal Analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax LLC.
Dr. Purdy has been covering mobile, wireless, cloud & enterprise for the past 20+ years. He writes analysis and recommendations each week in an easy-to-read manner that helps people better understand important technology issues and assist them in making better technology purchasing decisions.

Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in a column. If that situation happens, then IÔÇÖll disclose it at that time.

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