This past month, my husband’s identity was stolen and my access to our bank account was hacked. In my husband’s case a credit card was opened in his name. In my case my online bank user name, password and PIN was used to raise credit limits and then steal over $3,000 from our checking account.
Our bank took care of the matter, but what was problematic was just how robbers got access to my own personal online access information. The only thing we can think of is that I was using mobile banking features and may have accessed my bank while I was connected away from my home base.
As a result, here are the things that I have done to improve my smartphone security.
1. My entire family now uses on their mobile devices face or voice recognition biometrics to access our most important bank. For our other bank, we use two step verification. All family members use two step verification via text messages to smartphones to access bank accounts online through desktops.
2. My entire family now has withdrawal, deposit and transaction alerts set up for banking, savings accounts, and credit cards. The focus is to catch robbers early before too much damage has been done.
3. I personally am using NordVPN which ia a subscription base security tool for my smartphone that encrypts my communication on mobile data or when I am connected to any Wi-Fi hotspots out of my office. This will be especially important to me as I will be traveling in the months to come and this secure tunnel will allow me to encrypt data I exchange on the internet, geomask my location as well as to prevent eavesdroppers from snatching my user names and passwords.
Stay safe when you are online with your smartphone and encourage your family members to embrace new levels of mobile security to prevent the headaches that happened to us.
Just this past week Google announced that it was ramping up its organic sorting algorithm to enhance placement for mobile-friendly websites. The flip side of that is that sites that are not mobile-friendly will be getting pushed down in the listings.
Google did not a big caveat… If the site that is not mobile-friendly is the most relevant to the search query , it, the not mobile-friendly site may still be preferentially shown.
In lay terms, this announcement means that Google is totally jacked up on mobile and it is big business for them based on search trends and user demographics. Google has simply stated that having a mobile-friendly website is now no longer an after thought, but the new way to do business on the web.
What I know is that when Google says something, you’ve just got to listen. With many of our clients having over 50% of their website traffic from smartphones and more than 50% of AdWords clicks coming in from mobile devices, you’ve got to embrace the mobile experience. It is here to stay.
Google continues to push and refine its message as to the importance all websites having a mobile friendly website. Just this past week on the mobile version of Google I started to see tags in front of search listings as to if the site was mobile friendly or not.
Truthfully, I believe the next step is for Google to filter out and not supply sites at all in the mobile search results that have not stepped up to create the proper mobile experience. I expect to see this happen within the next six months.
Google is serious about having a great experience for mobile users on their mobile search platform. If they do not, then users will migrate to other providers who show more relevant results. If they move, Google will lose big in the ad arena. So for Google showing the right mobile friendly results in mobile search directly equates with its own bottom-line. Miscalculate on how Google feels about mobile and you’ll be out of their index.
The great things is that Google moves slowly to make big changes like this, letting users know that they feel is important and provides tools to help site owners. Here is just one of the tools that Google has recently released: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. It is an online tool to test just how friendly your website is.
Take the tool for a test drive to see just how your website stacks up. For now you have time to fix these problems, but you will not be able to wait forever. If you are using a legacy site, one that is not built with a responsive design and are not using a mobile rendering plugin or application to turn your old website into a mobile friendly one, you’ve just got to take action within the next six months to get there. We can help you get there. I invite you to review our responsive design options today to start on evaluating your options.
I attended a Google Partner hangout this last week with four marketing reps talking about how mobile has changed their marketing plans on AdWords. The comment that really has stuck with me over the last several days is that mobile is used for research before buying and is not necessarily the device that will drive a conversion. Very Interesting!
When I think about how I use my own smartphone, that comment is spot on. Many times I will be with others or sitting in a car chatting (not driving mind you) and I will quickly do a Google search to ask a question or find out more. Although more often than not, I am not looking at mobile ads while I am getting the information I want, I am using my smartphone to perform research that I may follow-up on later.
From an account manager and advertiser point of view, depending on the product or service that you are selling, the research aspect of mobile may be crucial to your overall marketing plan. With the much smaller screen of a smartphone limiting the number of AdWords ads that can show, you’ve got to be in the number one or two spots with your ad to get action.
Although mobile is not the right place for every single business, if the research phase that would be done on a smartphone is important to your business, keep in mind that actively testing your AdWords program in the mobile arena bidding up 10 to 25% of your desktop bid may be a very smart strategy. By testing this approach over a 60 day period (a shorter time period may not be long enough to really evaluate response), you may find that mobile drives conversions and sales on desktops and tablets and the mobile click can be attributed for the actual conversion. Or, you may find that more expensive clicks from smartphones simply padded Google’s wallet and did not drive conversions.
As Google is very bullish on advertising in the mobile space and many marketers are testing mobile AND the data shows that mobile activity is a very new and exciting landscape, it is time to try strategies in your AdWords account on mobile.
As the leader of online marketing Google is paving a new path into the digital world and helping advertisers on the way to understand how to market in our “always on” world. Anyone who is involved in selling knows that the new frontier is mobile and that it is changing how we market forever.
Google has done quite a few really smart things to embrace this new frontier. First, they have introduced AdWords Enhanced Campaigns which is the first step in leveraging mobile activity and advertising on smartphones to reach people where and when they are making buying decisions.
Second, Google created a partnership with DudaMobile to help advertisers get a free mobile website that can be used in the AdWords interface as the destination URL even with the DudaMobile.com domain URL.
Third, Google has done a marvelous job of training and reaching out to account managers like me to assist them with how to help move clients into the mobile arena. The seminars are excellent and topical. Although they are really in a closed by invitation arena and not widely published, much of the information has also been disseminated via Hangouts at Google+.
I personally have attended one and sometimes two, one hour seminars for at least the last eight weeks and have had a Google account manager available to assist me with mobile implementation, followup, implementation of mobile conversion tracking and assists with DudaMobile for my own clients.
The power of mobile is to not just getting click activity on mobile phones, but to understand that the real value of mobile is much bigger than that. Mobile activity drives website traffic, e-commerce activity, and increasingly foot traffic into stores. My personal feeling is that the true power of mobile to drive sales should not be discounted and should be fully evaluated for each business.
Not all businesses will need the marketing strategies that some local selling businesses may need when it comes to mobile, but even national businesses may find that mobile activity is a growing percentage of their overall online activity.
Mobile brings a whole new perspective to the marketing table. Make sure that you are testing, trying out, and really thinking about your own mobile strategy in the weeks and months to come.