As we head into Christmas week and then Christmas day, we'll see lots of cool new mobile and Internet toys unwrapped and put to use. A consistent theme this holiday season, which has emerged due to both lots of online and mobile shopping as well as all those gifts that will get people online -- especially through mobile devices -- is that of security and being ever more vigilant about securing those mobile devices. Why? Well, for starters 2013 is shaping up into quite the year for hackers, cyber-thieves, and malware downloads, among many other things. Malware in particular is going to be a cyber hacker's favorite tool, and you need to be aware of what to look for and what to do about it.
The first thing to do in order to be secure is to ensure that you are doing everything possible to protect yourself and everyone receiving those mobile gifts from you. Our friends at McAfee have identified a number of things to do that will get you there. Privacy is another issue that easy online and mobile access can compromise, especially when children are part of the equation. So it is good news that earlier this week federal regulators ruled to broaden the longstanding privacy rules covering children’s websites and mobile applications. The ruling, which expands on the Children’s Online Privacy protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) will give parents more control over the data that is collected about their children.
In addition, content management solutions provider Edgewave recently announced the launch of Mobile Security, an end-to-end, cloud-based Web and social media security solution for mobile devices. The solution provides reliable and flexible options for implementing and integrating Web and social media security across multiple mobile platforms, including iPhone, Android smartphones, iPad, Android tablets such as Google Nexus, Amazon Kindle Fire, and Samsung Galaxy, and Windows and Mac laptops.
And if you are running a fairly large business, SAP also has good news on the security front. It has in hand a new version of Afaria, its mobile device and application management platform Afaria, which will target providing much more security for enterprise applications.
Now that we've got security covered for the holidays, let's turn to several other things worth knowing - especially if you are still not finished with your holiday shopping. To begin, we've pulled together an excellent outlook on 2013 consumer trends. What's happening next year is always a good shopping guide. Here's another interesting thing, especially if you haven't yet picked out that new mobile phone gift. Did you know that in recent testing users tended to prefer Windows Phone devices?
Microsoft recently announced on its Windows Phone blog that when users actually try a Windows Phone device, they're likely to prefer it to their current phone, and they're likely to prefer it in a surprisingly large percentage. Specifically, Microsoft was talking about the results of its “Meet Your Match” challenge, which was in turn similar to its “Smoked by Windows Phone” challenge. The “Meet Your Match” challenge revealed an unexpected truth: 88 percent of the more than 75,000 people who tried Windows Phone in several countries — specifically Germany, the U.K., France and the U.S. -- felt that the Windows Phone device they tried was actually better for them than the phone they were carrying at the time.
We know it's Microsoft, but check it out anyway. And if you do get that Windows Phone here is something well-worth knowing about where those Windows Phone apps you are going to load may be coming from. In particular give the new game Haunted a whirl.
And last, but far from least as we head into Christmas, you will want to know where Santa Claus is. NORAD is once again tracking Santa's Christmas Eve flight. Get the details and join in on the watch.
Happy Holidays to all of our readers!