Friday, 31 July 2015

Android Phone and MMS Message flaw

You may have seen lots of news stories about a potential security flaw within Android phones which allows criminals to sneak malware into your phone.

According to reports I have seen, this flaw doesn't affect SMS/Text Messages.

But it does affect MMS, which are picture messages.

The advice I've read is to not allow any MMS to load onto your phone unless you know who it's from. The malware can use Google Hangouts to sneak in, because Hangouts pre-loads images automatically, which means installing the virus without you even knowing!

Might be a good idea to turn Hangouts off, or uninstall it for now.

Google is reported to have a fix for this flaw, and now waiting on the handset manufacturers to upgrade their phone systems (meaning an upgrade to be sent to us with Androids), and this can take some time.

Meanwhile, don't open any strange MMS. And if you send pictures, especially for a business or club, it's probably better putting the image on facebook or instagram or your website, and putting a link (URL) to that image instead of sending out the image itself via your phone.

For SMS Express customers, our system doesn't allow MMS anyway. But there's no reason why you can't put a URL/LINK in your text message, and send customers/members/staff to your website to view the image if they wish.

As always, feel free to call us on 1300 668 287 if you have any questions.

Here's a link to an article about the malware:
http://ktar.com/2015/07/30/how-to-avoid-falling-victim-to-major-android-security-flaw/

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

SMS and Text Messaging In The Age of Free Chat Apps

Here's a very good article on the predicted decline in consumer SMS:

http://www.ukmarketingnews.com/2015/07/whatsapp-and-other-messaging-apps-to-turn-to-mobile-payments-b2c-communications-and-gaming-as-major-source-of-revenue/

I would also like to add my 2c worth to this discussion. As our clients are mostly businesses, I think SMS has a lot of legs in it yet.

From a business owner's perspective, I'm always at a loss to understand the huge fuss over What's App and other consumer apps.

Don't get me wrong..they are fabulous apps and the amount of users and press that they generate is staggering, and a testament to good marketing as far as the promotions part of the marketing pie goes. It's a lot of eyeballs...but what to do with them all?

Trying to foist mobile ads upon people is not a good strategy for 3 main reasons:

1) Screen too small so poor user experience

2) Unless the ad is free beer, people are simply not interested

3) There are apps to block ads, and they are hugely popular

When people go out of their way to install an app to stop you from showing ads to them, you have to take the hint. It's the equivalent of the Do Not Call register.

People don't want to be "disrupted" (and it's a silly term used in this space...it is INTERRUPTING people..not good to do unless there's a big reward for the consumer) .

I installed WhatsApp to check it out, and within 24 hours I received spams selling sunglasses from some dodgy website. Plus there are companies selling lists and platforms to enable people to send unsolicited messages to WA numbers.

But in the B2C or even B2B space, it's a different ballgame:

1) It's cheap, accountable advertising for the company

2) Receivers want to get messages because they are relevant

3) There's minimal spam as an SMS costs money to send

4) SMS is treated as urgent.

So SMS may decline in the consumer space, but I think Business 2 Consumer will hold its own, or get bigger.


What do you think?