Sorting the iCon from iCommerce.

This post was inspired by one which appeared on a web-site I follow, “Ten Bags Full”.

The banks are facing new competitors introducing payment technology for use on mobile phones. This sounds great for convenience but  how secure would it be? Would the many scams that bedevil some aspects of internet commerce,  proliferate?

In the last year or two I have taken to using my iPhone to the point where I would be lost without it. I never dreamed that such small devices could be so versatile.

I love the messaging facility and easy phone dialing – and use a stylus because the keys are so small.

I like to be able to look up the sports results, access the social media, listen to my music, read a book, and play chess at night when I can’t sleep. I no longer mind being kept waiting, but get dark looks from my dear wife if I bring it out in public unnecessarily. They are rather anti-social.

They remind me of birthdays, anniversaries, and medical appointments.

When I’m not at home, I can still find out what is happening to my share-prices, and place an order.

But I still don’t entirely trust the technology on my computer. Nearly every second day I receive an email telling me I have just won a million or two, in a free lottery, if only I will advise them of my account details. Almost as frequent are messages from Nigeria advising me of windfall fortunes that should come my way. I hate the repeated scam emails purporting to be from my bank, asking me to click on their links – they look so realistic, it is hard to tell the difference.

Last year I received Tweets that informed me of someone spreading malicious rumours about me. After clicking on the link, I then had a spate of bogus, nonsense tweets sent out in my name to people that were following me. I closed this account.

Tempting for an old boy, are the invitations from girls with cute names, some with attractive girlie photos (not necessarily theirs) that appear on Skype, from all around the world, wanting to make contact with me!!! – in my mid-seventies. One’s Facebook pages are adorned with ads of young women showing lovely leg,  who do not want to date the young, but you guess it, older men, if only we are willing to make contact.

I have also had to change credit cards after being advised by my bank that someone in the US was trying to use my account.

Even if you just hover your mouse over an ad. you are often connected, with difficulty closing the unwanted page. Some I can’t seem to shut-up; they repeatedly warn of all the errors on my computer, and need for their product to fix the problem.

You have to have your wits about you when you buy on the internet. I decided to use the reputable company ADOBE to convert PDF’s to Word etc. The annual fee seemed reasonable and I was about to order when I noticed a slightly more expensive product with access to the iCloud.  I changed my mind for this service, not realizing that it was a monthly fee not a yearly one as I assumed.

It cost me an hour and a half of my time trying to correct my mistake on the internet chat room with their representative. I ended up having to pay a $250 penalty fee, after already paying the first monthly fee via my credit card, and having to pay for the service that suited my requirements, as well. There was little sympathy for my plight – they had my credit card details.

There are plenty of ads advising me that I can earn a fortune at home on the internet. Doubtless some folk do. But I wonder how much is really fair and reasonable.

Banking online, and internet share-trading, are convenient and have been reliable. This applies too to Amazon and iTunes. But I am still coming to terms with wider use of e-commerce. I have little doubt that iPhone payments are the way of the future, but it will have to earn my trust. I fear it may not be safe in my hands.

About Kenneth Robson

I studied at Adelaide Boys' High School, and the University of Adelaide, Medical School. graduating in 1961. My field of specialisation was Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Prior to establishing my practice in Adelaide, I spent 5 years working in India, and Papua-New Guinea, in the field of reconstructive surgery for leprosy. In retirement I joined the Australian Technical Analyst Association and passed the two examinations for a Diploma inTechnical Analysis, and the designation Certified Financial Technician (CFTe) by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
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