Three Hints to Keep Cell Safe This Summer

As we head ever deeper into the annual December festival of shopping, it’s perhaps worthwhile to take a look at the emerging threat of the legions of online and mobile-based fraudsters just waiting to take a cut of your hard-earned buck this Christmas.

The recent Cybersecurity Day held in October reminded South Africans of certain online threats perpetuated by phishers who are primarily interested in our online banking log-in details, but what mobile-related threats should responsible mobile marketers be highlighting?

We’ve spent most of this year – and the years before it – singing the praises of the mobile device as a products & services research and purchasing tool ‘par excellance’, so its perhaps time that we educated our regular blog readers about certain silly season potential mobile threats.

As you know, mobile marketing has to do with marketing ‘on or to’ mobile devices. This has to do with reputable brands engaging in coupon-based marketing, USSD research, Please Call Me advertising, and so on. There is always an ‘opt out’ mechanism if you’re dealing with a reputable firm.

Mobile marketing is not about randomly spamming tens of thousands of mobile users in the hope they’ll call back about non-existent offers. Here are three more detailed hints about what not to do this Summer:

  1. When you receive a missed call of very limited duration from an 087 number, don’t call back. Unscrupulous marketers use this trick to circumvent legislation and marketing codes, saying the consumer called them! The dirtiest of tricks.
  2. Don’t click on links sent to you via SMS or WhatsApp without first checking the link’s authenticity. Some handsets allow cursors and other devices to first be hovered over the link before actually clicking on it. This way you can check the web address to see if it looks legit.
  3. Change the way you receive one time passwords (OTPs). Go to your bank branch and call other providers and ask them to send to you via email rather. This way, you’ll know that every OTP sent to you via SMS from then on is fake.

Good luck and keep ‘em peeled!

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