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Is Wireless Technology Encouraging Fraud?

I realize I'm taking a somewhat precarious position by speaking out against the ever-expanding move to mobile computing. However, I believe we're seriously facilitating online fraud by failing to address the lack of meaningful security on mobile devices.

First, let's clear the air: I have nothing against mobile access per se. Indeed, I wouldn't be caught dead without my BlackBerry. But as a technology consumer and corporate IT executive, I take issue with ISPs, technology vendors, and device manufacturers that disregard security concerns when developing methods for consumers to access their banking information, for instance.

How many mobile devices routinely come with antivirus or anti-Spyware software already installed? Or better yet, how many ISPs or carriers even offer effective security tools? While numerous ISPs tout their ability to protect your computer from a variety of evils—malware, crimeware, viruses, spyware, and the like—how many wireless carriers advertise their ability to protect your mobile device from these same threats?

New Internet-access devices seemingly appear monthly, and I'm not just talking about new E-mail devices and smart phones. Many gaming systems either offer an Internet-access option or plan to include such access as basic functionality in the near future. But how well protected is your PlayStation from keystroke loggers and Trojans? Consider the following:

  • According to Japan's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), virtually all cell phones in that country have Internet functionality, making them the most heavily targeted devices for phishing scams and malware. So the malevolent capability exists—the criminals just haven't targeted the United States yet.
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