This is our second blog post about the recent consumer survey our researchers at NQ Mobile conducted, to find out how people view safety threats associated with their mobile devices.
Not surprisingly, 44% of our survey respondents with kids 17 and under reported that their children own their own smartphones. Among other interesting revelations, we found that the issues most concerning to parents of kids who own mobile devices isn’t as predictable as one might think.
Parents’ primary concerns for their young mobile users? Here they are, in order of stated importance:
Kids using their devices at times when they should be sleeping or paying attention at school.
Inappropriate content viewing
Each of the concerns expressed by these parents are associated with the welfare of children, and should be taken seriously, regardless of their place on the list. What we find fascinating is that parents may not know how simple it is to become involved in their children’s online lives.
Parents might consider letting their kids know, from the day they get their first phone, that they intend to have some influence over the amount of time the child spends on the phone, as well as her mobile activities. It’s easier to enforce this kind of guidance if it’s an agreement, made in advance, as a condition of the privilege of having a phone..
A good mobile family app will allow parents to set up times when the phone is open for use, and when it’s not – such as homework time and bedtime. The phone can be set to turn off and back on at appropriate times.
Effective Blocking and Allowing features let parents limit inappropriate material online at whatever level they see fit. As children grow up, these constraints can be more by setting the Blocking features at a lower level and Allowing more content.
Bullying and sexting are valid and timely concerns. A parent needs the ability to randomly look in on their kids’ mobile activities and, when necessary, step in to prevent any potentially dangerous or harmful contacts or behaviors. Parents can inform their kids that this is a condition of having a mobile device. It’s a reasonable safety measure, given the state of our culture when it comes to suicides, predators and other threats that loom for kids these days.
Finally, it’s important for kids to have a safety feature that lets them contact their parents or other adults immediately in case of an emergency.
How to Choose
There are many software apps coming onto the market that offer parental control for one thing or another, many with cute logos and titles with kid-appeal. We recommend serious software with a full and complete range of features, that can be used among all family members, whether you have one or five kids. At a glance, you should be able to easily see where each child is at any given time, what she’s doing on her phone, and who is contacting her. She should be able to alert you when there’s an emergency, and check in with you. Click here to learn about the most comprehensive mobile family package on the market, designed specifically to keep your children safe and sound.
It’s all about peace of mind. Raising kids can be complicated, especially in today’s culture of information overload, and kids who sometimes seem smarter than their parents. Make it easier on yourself by being involved and pro-active with your kids. When it comes to kids and mobile devices, it’s better to avoid surprises.
The survey was conducted online within the United States on behalf of NQ Mobile from February 22-25, 2013 among 413 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Spring’s such a beautiful time of year. Kids are playing outside, people are tending their gardens and nature‘s putting on a show. It’s a great time for connecting with family and friends, after a long winter. Send your friends an e-card, or text a sweet message to your significant other this week. Refresh your relationships with old friends, or text a funny joke to your kids.
Never in history has it been so easy to stay in touch with those we love. Let’s make sure our communications aren’t interrupted by that dark threat of malware that seemed to loom in the cyber sphere this winter.
We suggest these springtime smartphone rituals to help you prepare for this busy season.
Do a bit of inspection on your smartphone now, and every couple months or so. Get rid of any apps or files that are just taking up space. Spring’s a good time to get a fresh start, and a “clean” phone is no exception.
Look carefully at your bill. Make sure that you recognize all the charges. If you see something you don’t recognize, call your carrier and get to the bottom of it.
Change your password. If you haven’t done it for a while, it’s a good time to start fresh. Try using the initials of words that you find uplifting or inspiring, such as a title of a song you love. Don’t forget to use upper and lower case, and add a number or special symbol.
Make sure any new updates have been downloaded, and that your phone’s in top shape.
Speaking of cleaning, it’s a good idea to wipe your phone occasionally with a mild disinfectant, especially if someone else uses it. Get rid of any winter germs that might be lingering there from your hands or mouth. Don’t get it wet, and don’t use any strong chemicals.
If you haven’t done so already, download the strongest mobile security software on the market. Protect your phone, with one easy download, from viruses, Trojans and all kinds of malware and privacy invasion.
If you have a new phone and want to dispose of your old one, make sure every bit of data is swept clean from it before you donate it or give it to someone. (If your company’s replacing mobile phones, check out http://techpayout.com/corporate/ for a buyback program.)
Now, your smartphone’s shiny, clean and ready for a beautiful season of unfettered connecting! Like all of the objects that give us pleasure in life, your phone needs occasional maintenance in order to provide you with the best service. Now go outside, call your mom, and enjoy the wonders of springtime.
NQ Mobile was honored last Thursday night to host members of the Dallas business community at an After Hours gathering, initiated by the Dallas Business Journal.
NQ’s executives and staff members were delighted by this great opportunity to meet and interact with around 150 guests from the local area. Food for the event was provided by one of Dallas’s favorite Italian restaurants, Villa O. Guests enjoyed great food and conversation, and getting acquainted with NQ Mobile’s impressive new headquarters location on Travis Street.
The event was an opportunity for readers of Dallas Business Journal to mingle with one another, as well as with NQ Mobile staff and the executive team. NQ’s new friends included members from across the Dallas business spectrum, from local colleges to the Journal’s staff members.
We at NQ Mobile are pleased to be so warmly welcomed into the Dallas business community, and look forward to many opportunities in the future for networking and social gatherings with our new colleagues and friends. We appreciate the efforts of Dallas Business Journal in making this event happen, and thank all the wonderful folks who attended. Below are some images from the After Hours event, just in case you missed it.
Losing your mobile device can be a disturbing, and even devastating event. People lose financial data, photos of their kids, important contact information, private info, and even company data. Once you’ve had that experience, you automatically take extra precautions not to lose one again. Right?
Not necessarily. A recent survey conducted by NQ Mobile says that of every three unfortunate consumers who experience a lost mobile phone, whether by accident or theft, at least one of them still won’t bother to lock up the new phone.
Most people perceive a lost or stolen phone or device as a hard lesson – one that changes their conscious behavior when they’re forced to buy a new one. After losing a phone and having to get a new one, 69% of those consumers take steps to protect their new devices. As illogical as it may seem, 31% still choose to leave their new devices open and vulnerable. Where’s the disconnect?
It’s definitely a concern
Our survey reveals that most of us are aware of all the things that could go wrong if we were to lose a mobile device. In fact, in order of concern, these are the things that frighten most users about losing a phone:
Losing saved contacts
An intruder reading their emails or texts
Having an unauthorized person post to their social networking accounts
Having their photos or videos posted publicly
So, the awareness is there, but only 52% of those we surveyed used a passcode or some kind of safety method to prevent stranger-access to their device. Interestingly enough, younger consumers are more likely to take precautions. 64% of respondents aged 18 to 34 use some method of device locking, as opposed to only 30% aged 55 and up.
More than a few of us have lost a phone or device
A significant 25% of our respondents said they’ve either lost a device or had one stolen in the past. Of these devices, 40% were unprotected. After getting a new phone, 69% of those who lost unlocked phones changed their ways and added some kind of protection to their device. But, surprisingly, 31% still gamble with leaving their phone unlocked and unprotected. People are funny.
Parents and kids
Our next blog post will explore what this latest survey reveals about parents and their concerns connected with their kids’ use of smartphones. In the meantime, here’s a short list of tips from our researchers about protecting your interests on your smartphone or other mobile devices:
Lock It Up.
Do Your Research.
Arm Your Device.
For more tools to protect your smartphone from intrusions, attacks and snoops, visit NQ Mobile.
Those intriguing patterned blocks on products, signs, posters, ads, websites and hundreds of other places, are definitely here to stay. QR Codes (Quick Response) are a technological leap beyond the old bar codes with which we’ve become so familiar the last few decades.
QR Codes were designed to be read by imaging devices – thus, the natural adaptation to mobile devices. QR Codes are capable of containing a greater amount of more sophisticated data than the old bar codes and were developed within the auto industry to track parts. Now, they primarily serve as a fun and unique way to pop consumers over to a website or URL, using the camera feature on their mobile devices as a scanner. They can be used to offer more in-depth information about a product or service, point to special deals or coupons, or add, in some way, to the mobile user’s experience. A relatively new tool for businesses, we can expect to see QR codes used in thousands of ways in the near future.
Should I trust QR Codes?
There are only a few things about scanning QR codes that that could have a negative impact on smartphone or tablet users, but they’re worth knowing.
The QR scanning app you download into your phone should be from a reputable dealer, such as Google Play. Period. In fact, as a general rule, it’s better to avoid any fly-by-night apps whose developers haven’t been vetted or tested.
The data embedded within a QR Code could lead you to a phony URL, a phishing site designed to steal your information, or contain some other kind of destructive link. The code itself is harmless, but where it’s programmed to take you can cause problems. Unfortunately, it took very little time for cyber criminals to figure out ways to taint a QR Code. It’s not a huge problem yet, but it’s worth protecting your device if you’re going to scan QR Codes.
Our best advice.
Think before you impulsively scan a QR code, regardless of how tempting it might be.
If you’re scanning a code from a well-known store, or one printed on a familiar publication, you’re probably going to be just fine. But, scanning a QR code on a telephone pole at a bus stop, printed on an ad for something you’ve never seen, for a product that seems a little sketchy? You may end up at a website that a tries to sell you a product that doesn’t exist, plants malware in your system, or otherwise violates your privacy.
Most businesses are using customized QR codes that let you know who they are and why they’re there, so you won’t unwittingly scan a code that leads to some fraudulent destination. You should have an idea, in advance, about what the code provides before you scan.
QR codes are going to continue to show up everywhere. Their convenience and appeal is growing as we consumers buy more smartphones and tablets. Just use your best judgment and know there are a few bad apples out there.
If you have powerful mobile security protection on your mobile device, your safety and privacy will be safeguarded against any malware or virus. So, we say, scan away!
It’s a cut-loose celebration season for thousands of tired college students, professionals and families. Small wonder it’s a time when more smartphones than ever are lost or compromised.
We say: Party on, Spring breakers, but don’t forget to take a moment to make plans for the safety of your beloved smartphone.
OK, you can’t keep your eyes on your phone when you’re dancing. But you can designate a secure buttoned-up, velcroed or otherwise locked spot for it. Statistics say smartphone thievery’s a quickly growing pastime for some folks. It’s worth it to think it through before you find yourself dancing and socializing without a safe place to hold your phone.
We learned that 44% of smartphone owners don’t set their phones to automatically lock. An unlocked phone invites anyone to learn your passcodes, your bank account numbers and your credit card info, not to mention all your contacts. Surely your friends wouldn’t appreciate getting a flood of phish bait, spam or viruses, would they?
Make sure you’ve backed up your data. If your device doesn’t come with backup capabilities, download a backup app from a reputable app store or your wireless carrier.
If you feel your empty pocket and realize your phone’s gone missing, what will you do? If your phone doesn’t already have it, download an app that will let you remotely set off an alarm and lock it up. If you still can’t find your phone, that same app should let you remotely wipe all the data off of it. Because you’ve already backed up your data, right?
Public Wi-Fi hotspots abound, especially in vacation areas. Don’t forget that they’re not secure much of the time. Wi-Fi hosts tend to leave their systems more open than they should in order to accommodate customers, but here’s the catch: cyber thieves know this, and they also know how to break into just about any public Wi-Fi system. Keep the geo-location features on your smartphone and Bluetooth in the off position in these areas, just to be safe.
Spring’s a great time for cyber tricksters. Scam ads for everything from travel bargains to cheap flip-flop scams can appear in your email or voicemail. Remember not to buy anything from a site that doesn’t have a secure URL (padlock symbol and https), and beware of websites that have questionable URLs, odd grammar or spelling, or have URLs that are modified.
Really, the best defense against this kind of fraud is to have a strong mobile security product on your device that will warn you, before you get in trouble, that you’re about to get in trouble.
Avoid connecting to untrusted or unknown digital devices such as USB keys, media cards, and USB chargers. Not only could you contract a virus, but the device into which you’re plugged could be sucking up your passwords and private data. As much as you may need a charge, wait until you know you can plug in safely.
It’s so cool to be able to post your location on Facebook, especially when you’re in party mode. Just remember a lot of people may see online that you’re not at home, and they may not all be friends. Lots of people can know, within a few feet, where you are when your geo-location is tracking you, and they might not be friends, either. Don’t leave your GPS feature turned on – use it when you need it, then turn it off.
Don’t forget to download NQ Mobile Security, trusted by over 242 million people worldwide. And, keep your private stuff private with NQ Vault. Have a fabulous Spring break and,whatever you do, please be safe.
It’s downright amazing how many of us find a drop of Irish blood in our veins when St. Paddy’s Day rolls around. There’s nothing like a rowdy St. Patrick’s Day celebration, complete with green beer, parades, and a lovely saturation of green wherever we look. For many people, the holiday is a reason to cut loose and party like there’s no tomorrow.
One of the reasons this celebrated saint is so happily honored is that he represents the very epitome of luck. Luck comes if you find a four-leaf clover, and luck happens you find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Luck is the theme, happiness is the vibe. And, don’t forget, there’s always a bit of humor to the day:
May those who love us, love us;
And for those who don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping.
Relying on luck may seem a bit superstitious, but it’s an ancient concept that has a stronghold in our psyches, and it’s tough to give up for some folks.
But, before your throw caution to the wind this holiday, take a moment to be sure your smartphone’s protected with apowerful security package. And, for those moments when you’ve gone beyond your rational limits, make sure you have a privacy app, such as Vault, so that you can hide those embarrassing images until next year’s party.
When it comes to keeping a safe and private mobile phone, relying on luck might not be the best idea.
Before you head off to that rockin’ party, check your smartphone, put on your green hat, work up the Irish blood that hides in your system all year, and have a wonderful, safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day.
We already knew the truth about Family Guardian. But now, twenty thousand unbiased parents have awarded NQ Mobile’s Family Guardian their highest rating of excellence through PTPA Media Inc. (Parent Tested, Parent Approved).
When parents see our PTPA Winner’s seal on Family Guardian, they can rest assured they’ve found a high-quality product that’s been given an emphatic seal of approval by other parents. It’s PTPA’s mission to discover the finest parenting products by letting real consumers test and evaluate them in the privacy of their own homes. Independent parent volunteers choose the winners, based on merit and user experience.
Parent testers are not influenced by advertising or commercial interests,so the PTPA Winner’s seal means this is a product parents can really trust.
This is a proud win for NQ Mobile because, as our own Victoria Repice commented, “As mobile devices continue to increase in popularity and replace other connected devices, safety for families and individuals will continue to be a paramount concern. NQ Family Guardian allows parents to unobtrusively manage their kids’ mobile phone usage, while also ensuring a safe and fun experience.”
Sharon Vinderine, CEO and founder of PTPA Media Inc, had this to say about this coveted award: “At PTPA Media, we are proud to play a role in certifying innovative products that families can trust. When consumers search for our Seal of Approval on product packaging and web sites, they are essentially searching for validation from their peers. Their peers will have objectively tested and approved these products based on their performance in a real life environment. That type of resource for families is priceless.”
When it comes to technology, so many acronyms and abbreviations swirl around us that we tend to ignore a lot of them. But, NFC is one we should know about, and it’s not complicated.
Near Field Communication is simply the capability of one wireless device to communicate with another. Whether it means waving your smartphone over a payment module at a coffee shop, or sharing data with a friend by touching your smartphones, both devices must be NFC-enabled in order to work. Not all technology has this capability, but it’s a safe bet that, if you don’t have it now, you’ll have it in the near future.
Using a high range frequency, NFC enables instant and secure communication between two devices. NFC’s already being used successfully at ticket gates and at larger retail outlets with credit card readers. The NFC chip inside a smartphone stores your credit card information, as well as travel ticket information and, well, anything of value that you formerly toted around on plastic cards in your leather wallet.
If you own a smartphone and didn’t think to ask if it’s NFC enabled, there’s a great website with a list of which models have it and which don’t. Yes, there’s an entire website devoted just to NFC. Check out NFC World’s “Definitive List” and find out whether your phone has the chip or card that will allow you to wave or touch it to complete a transaction. The site lists which phones have it now, which will have it in the near future, and which models don’t have it. You might be surprised.
Retailers and merchants are catching on to the benefits of NFC, but progress seems slow. MasterCard Pay Pass and Google Wallet may be the most common NFC tools available for the smartphone, but that doesn’t mean you can use them everywhere. If you want to know where you can use Google Wallet, check out their site for companies, or enter your zip code and find out about merchants in your area. MasterCard PayPass also has a locator feature where you can easily find out which merchants will accept it, and where they’re located. Both apps are available on Google Play.
Researchers have found flaws in NFC systems, as with any fledgling technology. Cyber crime has not ignored the challenge of NFC, and it will take some time to perfect and secure it. Don’t forget to have a powerful security product on your smartphone.
Perhaps one day soon we’ll be paying for everything with our smartphones or some other handheld gadget that we’ll simply wave at the dentist’s office, the grocery store or our favorite restaurant. The rate at which technology is changing makes us think it won’t be long before NFC’s the norm. But it takes two devices to do the NFC tango, and there are thousands of merchants who need to wake up and smell the money.
América Móvil, a leading Latin American telecom group, will be offering our three flagship products to its more than 262 million equity subscribers. We’re talking 18 countries, including Mexico and Latin America, where NQ Mobile Security, NQ Mobile Vault and NQ Family Guardian will be readily available to América Móvil’s subscribers!
Introducing Seguridad Móvil Telcel
With some 68 million subscribers, Telcel is Mexico’s leading mobile provider, and is América Móvil’s largest carrier. Telcel will start by offering NQ Mobile Security to its subscribers in Mexico, and will call it “Seguridad Móvil Telcel.” The good folks at Telcel will be promoting our products, starting soon by pre-loading Seguridad Móvil Telcel (NQ Mobile Security) on their customers’ new devices.
As the year goes on, América Móvil will expand the NQ Mobile product line across all its carrier brands, including Telcel and Claro, into 18 Latin American countries.
Just like us, América Móvil’s committed to mobile safety
We talked to Marco Quatorz at América Móvil, who had this to say about the new partnership:
“As the third largest mobile network operator in the world, América Móvil is committed to providing our customers with the safest and most secure mobile experience on the market. We share NQ Mobile’s belief that the best mobile experience is a safe mobile experience and we are pleased to be able to offer our customers the world’s best mobile protection with Seguridad Movil Telcel. NQ Mobile’s products will undeniably enhance our service offerings to our customers throughout Mexico and Latin America.”
Wow. We’re excited at the idea of our products reaching this many more people in the world. Our Co-CEO, Omar Khan comments,
It’s critical that consumers in Mexico and Latin America become educated about growing mobile threats and learn how to protect their mobile devices, their privacy and their families. With more than 242 million customers around the world and with partners across the globe, NQ Mobile has the resources to provide América Móvil’s users with tools that will help ensure the safety and security of their valuable mobile data, regardless of location.”
We’re proud to share our big three
•NQ Mobile’s flagship application, NQ Mobile Security, detects and deletes viruses, malicious URLs, and other threats. NQ Mobile Security’s been proven by independent security lab tests, like West Coast Labs Comparative Test, to outperform all competitive mobile security platforms.
•Our award-winning NQ Family Guardian, is a unique suite of services designed to keep kids safe on their mobile devices. América Móvil and NQ Mobile expect that this will be a first of its kind in Mexico and Latin America.
•NQ Mobile Vault for Android is one of Google Play’s top apps, with millions of downloads. It lets consumers password-protect and encrypt photos and videos on their smartphones.
Here at NQ Mobile, we extend a huge bienvenido a bordo (welcome aboard!) to all our new friends at América Móvil, and we wish their customers a safe, secure and private mobile experience using NQ Mobile’s products. Read our news release here.