How secure are you online?

Are you doing enough?

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(Phishing password, 2016)

Thanks for checking my blog once again. In my last post, we discussed the transition of traditional website to mobile apps. I am sure you’d agree with me that mobile app is now widely used globally at the expense of traditional website.

This week, we are breaking down this post into three parts: Terms and Condition, Password and browser.

Terms and Condition

I am sure countless numbers of people reading this blog would be like “oh yeah I am safe”. To start with, how many times have you hit the accept button without carefully reading the terms and conditions of a website? As we all know, humans are naturally impatient, no one is interested in reading the supposedly jargon written in mobile app stores or traditional websites terms and conditions. Contrary to what you think, it’s imperative that you carefully read the terms and conditions of websites. Not reading the simple contractual terms and condition can result to big problems. For instance, mobile app that appeared to be free might have in-app purchase as you continue using it functions. Also, people are often surprised they are liable to pay for returns of unwanted items purchased online. Returns policy is frequently stated in the terms and conditions of websites and the fee can be expensive. Survey shows 7% of people read the full terms and condition when buying online, while a fifth say they have suffered due to negligence (Smithers, 2011).

Password

It’s imperative that you create password that is strong enough to withstand attack from people who are trying to breach your privacy. Ideally, your password should contain symbols, lowercase, uppercase, space and any letter sequences. For instance, create a phrase like this: I hope Manchester City Will Win The Champions League in 2016! Hence, the phrase would result to:  IhMCwwTCLi2016! (O’Reilly, 2011).

Other Ways of Protecting Your Password

  • Use a password manager: You can store your password on a portable storage device or on the cloud. The obvious risk is that you lose the device or the vendor server is hacked.
  • Shut down or lock your computer: Don’t leave your PC unattended to –  for instance, if you need to use the toilet, shut it down or lock it as “frenemies” may tamper with your system to change your password.
  • Avoid using obvious words like date of birth or dictionary words.

Browser

With your password on point it’s time to ensure that your browser is secure. Failure to secure your web browser can result to variety of computer problems caused by malware being installed without your knowledge to disrupt your computer (US-CERT, 2015)

Other Ways of Securing Your Browser

  • Delete all unwanted add-ons
  • Keep your software up to date
  • Use VPN to create secure connection across the internet
  • Use HTTPS: It provides confidentiality; your information is prevented from attackers as only your browser and the server can decrypt the traffic (Shema, 2011).

Please watch the Video Below:

(Youtube, 2016)

I hope all the things I shared in this blog are exhaustive enough to safeguard your data from phishing activities.

 

References:

Cawley, C. (2012, June 6). What To Do If You Think Your Computer Has Been Hacked Into. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from makeuseof: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/what-to-do-if-you-think-your-computer-has-been-hacked-into/

O’Reilly, D. (2011, December 24). How to Master The Art of Passwords .

Pluralsight. (2015, July 8) How passwords get hacked, and how to prevent it. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ5iiMRFssc.

Shema, M. (2011, May 31). Web Security: Why You Should Always Use HTTPS.

Smithers, R. (2011, November Wednesday). Terms and conditions: not reading the small print can mean big problems . Consumer right .

US-CERT. (2015, September 8). Securing Your Web Browser .

 

Cultural Shift! From Traditional site to Mobile App

desktop-vs-mobile-themes

Sequel to my last post where we looked at Traditional shopping vs. E- shopping. If you ask what’s best for me; well, sometimes I like physically exploring various stores in the city centre and sometimes I prefer multitasking at home watching Netflix whilst shopping online. This week, we will be looking at cultural shift from traditional sites to mobile apps.

The advent of smart phones has caused a shift in the traditional ways of surfing the web into using mobile applications. The best thing about the mobile medium is that it gives companies the potential to interact with their stakeholders in real-time, by location and complete with profile information (Rahul Varshneya, 2013). Before the advent of smart phones, people carry out their day to day activities using desktop computers. In this day an age, getting things done is only one click away. This is as a result of the emergence of smart phones mobile app. Traditional websites has a wide range of content and information. People are often compelled to narrow their search before finding their area of interest. However, mobile app presents information in a simplistic manner. Users on mobile are impatient, easily distracted & far less patient than desktop web users. Because of this, it isn’t hard to overemphasize the importance of simplicity. Strip out every non-critical feature and interface when converting desktop interfaces to mobile (Joe Stangarone, 2013). For instance, I often check my University of Salford’s emails on my phone via outlook app. You don’t have to log on a computer to check your email anymore. Also, I was able to transfer some money to my cousin who is currently holidaying in Spain using Western Union’s app on my phone. Interestingly, I can also top up her phone using Lebera phone app. Gone are the days where mobile phones were only used for talking.

Businesses try to emulate the capabilities of their desktop application in their mobile device. They ignore the fact that they have different user context. Mobile device screens are much smaller, interactions are faster, and expectations are very dissimilar to those available for desktop applications (Joe Stangarone, 2013). If a mobile user is log on to a full website, the mobile version automatically pops up which offers a quality user experience.

Mobile apps only run on mobile phones and are coded specially for the operating system of mobile device. These apps are found on app store or Google play. For instance, Google doesn’t allow other app competitors to list their apps on Google app store. Google app store is considered a monopolist in the app store market. Amazon’s app store has to be downloaded to your mobile smart phone in order to access Amazon’s app store. The same also goes to Apple, if you need any of Apple’s software products, you are forced to buy Apple’s hardware. Additionally, a valid bank card details has to be inputted and saved on your iphone in order to purchase software products. This means if you don’t have a valid bank card you can’t access the app store.

Mobile testing is a major challenge for mobile app developer as different devices can respond or behave in different ways. Mobile apps go through testing before they are released to produce real world user experience (Gartner Inc, 2014). Mobile apps are also monitored even after being released in order to know if user behavior changes.

Mobile apps are evolving rapidly at the expense of traditional web surfing. It’s one of the best ways of attracting prospective audience due to it simplicity.

References:

Gartner Inc (2014). Traditional Development Practices Will Fail for Mobile Apps. Agile Development is Essential for Mobile Application Development .

Stangarone, J. (2014). Save money, time, and increase business productivity. Mobile vs. Traditional Development: 7 Key Differences.

Varshneya, R. (2013). Business Accelerated. 4 Reasons Your Business Needs a Mobile App .

James MacAulay. (2011) Coming soon: Mobile Themes and more. image available at: https://www.shopify.com/blog/3635442-coming-soon-mobile-themes-and-more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Best For You? E- Shopping or Traditional Shopping

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The unpredictable growth of the Web has modernized many aspect of our daily life(Kaufman-Scarborough & Lindquist, 2002). Despite the increase in the use of Internet(Lim & Ting, 2012), many industries have complained about the problem of abandonment of shopping cart in which planned purchases are not completed. In 2000, many lost faith in the reliability and security of online shopping after the dot-com bust (Stainer, 2011). In fact, significant numbers of online shoppers return to the store for physical experience of the product, inability to locate some items and late or missed deliveries. However, E-shopping is one of the most popular way of making purchases online and it has several advantages which include a level of accessibility/convenience, easy comparison of price tags, greater merchandise selection, and also attempts to be efficient and quick.

Tesco, one of the major players in e-shopping claimed in its results announcement that the growth of its online ordering business grew by almost 20% in the past year despite a pre-tax loss of £6.37bn in its yearly result. Customers visits to Tesco’s large stores has dropped and has forced Tesco to close more than 43 store and in the process of developing 49 more sites. The Internet provides businesses with the opportunity to sell their products to millions of people, 24 hours a day. Clare McDonald (2015).Capture new image Capture 3

 

Regardless of the disadvantage of shopping online, it’s important to see how shopping online has been useful and helpful over the last decade. The convenience and time management that comes with shopping online cannot be compared to the traditional shopping media; locating some items on the shop floor or even queuing to make payment takes minutes (Sandra Forsythe, 2006). This can be done anywhere, in the living room, at work or any location for that matter. Online shopping also encourages late night shopping and is not restricted to the 8am-8pm policy, its accessible 24hrs daily. The most interesting and fun part of online shopping is that you can order the previous day and get your items in store the following day.

Even though consumers enjoy the convenience and number of benefits that comes with e-shopping, the consumers tend to focus on some of the uncertainty that comes with online shopping. Financial risk and product performance are some of the types of risk associated with electronic shopping. Lee Chan Jean and Eduardo B (2015)  According to a research carried out by BBC, Money Box gathered that scammers hacked Booking.com reservations, having full access to personal information of costumers including their credit card details. The security breach affected customers in the US, UK, France, Portugal and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

­­Another factor that affects E-shopping is that it delays customer in the store. For instance staffs source for products purchased online in the shop floor. It has an effect on the stock level. Tesco’s staffs are often observed sourcing for products ordered online from the shop floor thereby inconveniencing customers.

Product performance risk occurs when a product does not perform its expected function; this occurs due to the consumer’s inability to effectively evaluate or seek expert’s advice on the quality of the product. Xu Zhe and Li Hongbo (2013)

There should be an independent branch to service e-shoppers. Orcado is far ahead in online retail because it uses automated technology to select groceries in its warehouse. Redburn estimates the process to be 2.5 times quicker than hand-picking in-store. Morrison signed a deal to use Orcado’s technology to deliver its online groceries.

Quality Control: Items should be checked to adhere to customer’s requirements.

In this digital age, future- thinking glocers should look at various ways of integrating online shopping into their central business plan. I hope all grocers shift to to E- shopping as it is one of the best ways to gain market share.

References:

Kaufman-Scarborough, C., & Lindquist, J. D. (2002). E-shopping in a multiple channel environment. Journal of Consumer Marketing , 19 (4), 333-350.

Lim, W., & Ting, D. (2012). E-shopping: An Analysis of the Uses and Gratifications Theory. Modern Applied Science , 6 (5), 48-63.

Sandra Forsythe, C. L. (2006). Development of a scale to measure the perceived benefits and risks of online shopping. Interactive Marketing , 20 (2), 55-57.

Stainer, J. (2011). E-Shopping. The ACM Magazine for Students , 17 (3), 34-34.

Bob Howard Reporter, Money Box (2014). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30555620

Clare McDonald, Computer Weekly 2014. http://www.computerweekly.com/news/4500244817/Increase-in-Tescos-online-sales-mitigates-yearly-637m-loss

Speville, M. d. (2016). Thinking out Loud. Beginning of the End? Back to the Future of Supermarkets , 5. Available at : http://www.brickmeetsclick.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/0/7df16df55d4d9f436db3c3ac03f35fe2/files/1308_thinking_allowed_foodretail_redburn.pdf

L Chan Jean and Eduardo B (2013). fear , excitement , and financial risk – taking. 8300 defect for UNSW Cognition and Emotion.

Xu Zhe and Li Hongbo (2013) Accessing Performance Risk for Complex Product Development. 8300 Defect for Quality UNSW Quality and Reliability Engineering International.