There has been a widening gap in the world of mobile for some time now, a great big elephant in the room we’ve been trying hard to ignore, but it has to be addressed: mobile security.
Every day, every hour, mobile users are making decisions that trade mobile security for increased personalization and more features, while advertisers increasingly probe their Facebook accounts for delicate information that could be easily swiped by someone with ill intent in a second.
It’s a difficult subject for marketers to handle, there’s no question about it. Increasing security makes our apps and features harder to use, but it also increases the safety of the users we’re servicing. According to a recent Kaspersky study, only 60 percent of Android users and 26 percent of iPhone users are actually using some type of security software, leaving phones wide open to a range of both virtual and real-life data theft.
Bulking Up Apps with Security Features
Knowing users may not be using any sort of protection for their data, it may help prevent future problems for brands if they go ahead and build some extra layers of security into their apps.
Obviously you can’t be responsible for everything, but increasing your app’s security by degrees can protect the data that your brand utilizes, therefore protecting your valuable customer and improving their view of the brand in general.
Bank of America asked its app users how they’d feel about an extra layer of security and they responded positively. In fact, 78 percent said they’d be comfortable with an additional layer of security, even if it required user input. A fingerprint scan/swipe was the most popular choice (49 percent of respondents), followed by a four-digit pin (43 percent), retina scans (34 percent), facial recognition (30 percent) and voice recognition (29 percent).
The Fourth Factor
Another option for security is what IT companies call “The Fourth Factor.”
Typically, a really high-level security system is protected by three factors: a password, a token and a biometric measurement. The fourth factor is input from the mobile devices themselves. Maybe it’s the collection of Bluetooth devices around you at a certain time of day or where you’re located when you’re trying to access a particular piece of information, or even what WiFi network you happen to be connected to. The fourth factor is a behavioral baseline that remains more or less unchanged at the time you’ll be accessing the app in question.
Using a fourth factor to help protect user data for apps that probe deeply for data can make customers feel like you’re concerned for the safety of their privacy and you’ll be their personal data defender if they’re ever in trouble. It’s a way of establishing trust, enough to open doors for consent marketing in a big way. The more you give, the more they’ll give… it’s very simple.
Marketing Security Apps
There is, of course, another option: you could market a security app to the demographics most at risk of data breaches from malware or other virtual security threats.
These programs can protect the whole system from attacks, rather than simply protecting data in a single app. In a perfect world, both tools would be in force, but budgets aren’t always unlimited. Luckily, we know exactly who is at the highest risk of creating a security nightmare for themselves based on the most recent Allot Communications mobile trends report, “Mobile Users at Risk.”
Based on the research, the riskiest business is business, and the men and women who work there. Businessmen and women are the most at risk for any kind of security breach because of their varied browsing habits. Businessmen are 79 percent at risk, while businesswomen are 67 percent at risk. They’re followed, perhaps not surprisingly, by youth of both genders (60 to 65 percent), and Millennial males (65 percent).
These groups all represent opportunities to market anti-virus, anti-malware or comprehensive security packages to help better protect them online. Not only will their beefed up online security give them a better overall mobile experience, it’ll ensure your mobile site or app runs better and is more secure than it was without your company having to play bouncer at the virtual front door.
Mobile users are among the most valuable for marketers, but they’re also the most difficult to reach in many ways. That’s why we must work to protect them and foster trusting relationships when handling their data. Each mobile user is a valuable and hard-earned customer, replacing them can be more expensive than the cost of securing them against intruders.