Entries in Mobile Phone (4)


Spam on Your Cell Phone? You're Hardly Alone

Image Source /Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- You hear the text message alert ping, scramble to find your phone, only to find that the message is from an unknown number and the message is asking you to click on a link or text back.

It’s text spam, and according to data released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of those who text say they get unwanted spam or text messages. Additionally, 25 percent of those admit to getting spam texts once a week.

“They [customers] say text spam is more invasive to them than junk mail or even spam emails. And sometimes, the recipients even have to pay for the texts that they never wanted in the first place,” Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center, told ABC News.

Pew’s recent data also detailed other phone annoyances (72 percent of cell owners experience drop calls and 68 percent get marketing calls on their cells), but CloudMark, a company that helps in the reporting of mobile spam, has also seen a rise in the messages. In April and July of 2012 SMS spam peaked significantly, says the company.

“Mobile is becoming the new attack tool for criminals looking for a quick profit,” Mary Landesman, senior security researcher at Cloudmark, told ABC News.

Landesman explained that criminals can profit from mobile spam in a few ways: they can attempt to get people to divulge personal information through text or they can manipulate people into sending premium rate SMS messages, which can cost much more than a regular text.

The two major questions, of course, are: how are they getting the numbers? And what can you do to stop the issue?

Landesman explained that many of these attackers are guessing at the numbers and rarely are working off stolen lists. So, unfortunately there’s not much you can do to stay safe.

But to stop the issue there’s a bit more you can do. In fact, there’s one thing you should do and one thing you shouldn’t. You can forward the spam message to 7726, which alerts the carrier so they can investigate and take action.

What you shouldn’t do is text message the word STOP back.

“Many of these messages tell them reply with the word STOP. The problem with that action is verifying to the attacker that they have a real live number,” Landesman said. In other words, texting back can only make the issue worse and will make that text message ping even more frequently.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Microsoft Looks to Recruit More Apps For Phones

Microsoft(NEW YORK) -- Any iPhone user has about 350,000 apps to choose from in the Apple's App Store. Windows Phone users have 15,000.

Now Microsoft has a new tool to help it reach the bar set by Apple in terms of mobile apps. Microsoft is offering iPhone developers some help with building applications on Windows Phone with the iPhone-Windows Phone API Mapping Tool.

The application program interface (API) communicates with app hardware, maps the program interface to the Windows Phone 7, and even provides code samples for those developers unfamiliar with Microsoft.

The API mapping tool is available at There, web browsers will also find a document called the "Windows Phone 7 Guide for iPhone Applications Developers."

Microsoft says similar tools for Android will be released soon.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Most Mobile Ad Dollars Wasted, Survey Says

Photo Courtesy - Apple(NEW YORK) -- The majority of mobile ad dollars are wasted, according to findings from a new survey.

The survey conducted by Pontiflex and Harris Interactive found nearly half of mobile app users have accidentally clicked on ads more often than they intentionally clicked on ads.

That means most advertisers are wasting their cash since most pay on a cost-per-click basis.

According to survey results, 61 percent of 18 to 34 year-olds (the most active age group utilizing mobile apps) accidentally click on mobile apps.

The results also show that 71 percent of app users prefer ads that keep them within the contents of the app, rather than taking them to another page.

The December survey results are based off of the experiences of more than 4,000 application users.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


T-Mobile Backs Application to Block Texts, Calls While Driving 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- If you don't have the will power to decline calls or texts when you're behind the wheel, T-Mobile now has a way to do it for you. To stop cell phone users from driving dangerously, the company this week unveiled a new service that automatically disables most texting and calling features when a phone senses that it is in motion.

The service, DriveSmart Plus, is not the first smartphone application to attempt to block on-the-road calls and texts. But while other cell phone carriers say they are working on similar kinds of technology, T-Mobile's service is the first carrier-backed service to hit the market.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but, in a press release, said the $4.99 per month application, developed by Emeryville, Calif. company Location Labs, will be available to T-Mobile customers with Android smartphones.

When activated, the DriveSmart application determines how quickly a phone is switching between cell phone towers. When it senses the phone is moving faster than 10 miles per hour, within a few minutesit automatically sends phone calls to voicemail or a hands-free Bluetooth headset.

Studies have shown that cell phone use while driving increases crash risk by four times. But "distracted driving is bigger than just cell phones," Rader said. "Targeting cell phones only addresses one slice of the problem."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio