mCommerce (or M-commerce) is using a mobile phone to make purchases. Like credit card transactions, your card/device can be either present or not present. In other words, “present” might mean your mobile is equipped with an application that you use to make a purchase in person, such as to buy a cup of coffee or a train ticket. “Not present” could be when you use another application or your mobile browser to make a remote purchase over the Internet or another type of mobile network.

There are several different forms of mobile commerce:

Mobile shopping: You comparison shop or purchase something online using your mobile device (and its browser or a mobile app)

Mobile banking: You interact with your bank account (actions such as check the balance, transfer between accounts, make payments) using your mobile device

Mobile wallet (mobile payments): The mobile device itself is used to authorize payment (via a stored credit card)

Mobile point-of-sale (POS): Specialized card swiping attachments let your mobile device be used to collect payment from a credit card

All of these forms of mobile commerce require a wireless connection to the internet over Wi-Fi or your carrier’s 3/4G connection. Always use a like Hotspot Shield when engaging in mCommerce. Hotspot Shield, which is free to download, creates a virtual private network (VPN) between your laptop or iPhone and your Internetgateway. This impenetrable tunnel prevents snoopers, hackers and ISPs from viewing your web browsing activities, instant messages, downloads, credit card information or anything else you send over the network.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning AmericaDisclosures.

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