How Do They Stack Up? The Mobile Web vs. Native Apps

Every day we’re faced with choices. Chocolate or vanilla? Cats or dogs? Ketchup or mustard? Pizza or salad? Pizza, always choose pizza. These everyday choices are all about personal preference, but they have a big impact on the way we live and even the way the world around us runs. If consumers only preferred ketchup, the condiment food industry would change. Production of ketchup would increase, marketing would focus only on ketchup-related advertising and restaurants would only order mass amounts of ketchup – sayonara, mustard.

The choices we make as consumers have a huge impact on the technology industry, which is why the mobile Web versus the native app story has been so prevalent in the changing business world.

Before diving deeper, it’s important to understand differences between a native app and the mobile Web. A native app is an application developed specifically for a mobile device; it is what a user downloads from an app store and installs on a smart phone. The mobile Web refers to a site optimized for mobile use, accessed on a mobile device. Think the Facebook app, versus accessing Facebook on a device through a mobile browser.

In an Opera Mediaworks Q2 state of mobile advertising report, it was found that while the U.S. relies heavily on native apps, the rest of the world has a preference for the mobile Web. This is an interesting find since most would assume that the native app would be preferred in the fast pace, need to know, gotta-have-it-now society we live in. Even mature markets like Europe and Japan have a higher usage of the mobile Web, making experts wonder where the U.S. stands on the developmental curve.

You may be wondering how this all comes into play. Why does it matter if I use a native app or the mobile Web? Who cares? Hackers, that’s who.

Cyber criminals are relentless; they will do whatever it takes to hack your phone and use your mobile habits to their advantage. If a hacker knows that U.S. mobile phone users are more prone to using native apps, then their strategy for hacking U.S. mobile users will be different than how they would attack other countries who prefer the native Web. Feeling vulnerable? Don’t stress just yet. Whether you prefer a native app or a mobile phone, we’ve compiled a helpful list of measures you can take to protect your mobile security.

  • Be conscious of the information you send through your mobile device. Banking details and social security numbers should always be communicated offline and in the most secure manner possible.
  • Take advantage of security tools that help prevent mobile hacks. Equip your mobile device with comprehensive security software. McAfee® Mobile Security is free for Android and protects you from potentially malicious mobile Websites as well as known bad apps.
  • Change your passwords frequently and always make them complex. Changing your passwords regularly will lessen your chances of a potential hack.

As always, to keep up with the latest security threats, make sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and Like us on Facebook.

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