Always on, always connected consumers continue to increase their mobile device usage, and marketers are right there in the act when they do in hopes of communicating with them. O’Malley notes, “With 98% growth in mobile app usage and 111% growth in SMS usage, a majority of marketers are now using these mobile tactics to engage customers.”
Source: Smart Insights.
Marketers are specifically turning to smartphones and tablets to not only push messages to consumers for engagement outreach, but to also track their online behavior. Are you being tracked online? Odds are, indeed you are. A little creepy, right?
Privacy will always be a concern for consumers, myself included. When it comes to mobile apps and opt-ins for text messages, invasion of privacy is the risk consumers take when partaking in these emerging media tactics. While privacy is important to me, and companies should adhere to certain regulations when it comes to emerging media, I’m willing to give up personal information if that means I get tailored messaging that fits my wants and needs. However, that’s not to say I don’t take some necessary steps to ensure my personal data stays protected in general. Here are some tips to do just that with some help from the FTC:
- Beware of imitators – be sure you know who is receiving your personal and financial information online. Research companies online before sharing your information with them.
- Get rid of personal information safely – if you’re trashing an old computer or mobile device, be sure to wipe them clean. This can be done with wipe utility programs, or you can contact your service provider for insight on how to delete personal information permanently.
- When in doubt, encrypt – you can keep your browser secure. Encryption software can be used to scramble up information sent over the Internet.
- Passwords are meant to be private – make sure the passwords you choose are strong and unique across different accounts for extra security.
- Not everything is meant for social media – especially not all of your phone numbers, address, social security number or account numbers. This just screams identify theft. Share responsibly.
As we live in a digital age, emerging media usage will continue to rise, as will consumers’ concerns about privacy. While all the necessary steps in the world can take place to ensure consumers’ privacy, risk will always be there. What’s your take?