Smartphone 'apps' and websites set to undergo 'rigorous' testing as part of consumer crackdown [Grimsby Telegraph (UK)]
(Grimsby Telegraph (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A NEW kitemark to help people identify smartphone applications and websites that they can trust with their personal and financial details has been launched.
Barclays' pioneering Pingit mobile payment service and Barclays Mobile Banking are the first products to have been independently assessed in order to be awarded the new British Standards Institution kitemark for secure digital transactions.
Although it is initially being piloted within the banking industry, the BSI envisages that its use will be adopted by a wider range of firms - like the entertainment industry.
Producers of websites or apps which want to achieve the kitemark will need to undergo "rigorous" testing to make sure their security controls meet the required standards.
Those that meet the standards will be able to give customers confidence by displaying the kitemark on their products and in their marketing materials. They will be regularly monitored, and if security levels are not maintained, the kitemark will be revoked until any flaws are put right.
The move comes as people increasingly turn to the internet to carry out everyday tasks. Three-quarters (74 per cent) of Britons now use the internet to do their shopping and just over half (53 per cent) of adults now bank online, according to a recent report.
The Office for National Statistics found that around 38 million adults, 76 per cent of the population, go online every day - which is more than double the number of people who did so when comparable data started in 2006 WHAT'S ON Research carried out among more than 1,000 people for the BSI found that 30 per cent of people do not trust apps as a secure way to manage their money, and 42 per cent have concerns about the security of their personal data when shopping online.
All the entertainment news at www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/ entertainment Alex Grant, managing director of fraud prevention at Barclays, said: "Millions of our customers are using mobile and online banking on a daily basis and the kitemark adds reassurance that the platform they are using meet the stringent security requirements.
JOIN THE DEBATE mobile/tablet "Barclays recognise the need to grow consumer trust in using digital platforms and the BSI kitemark is a widely trusted mark to help this. We're proud to be the first business to gain the certification for its mobile banking apps to start with."
A life insurance product from Barclays recently became the first financial product to be awarded a kitemark for "doing what it says on the tin" as part of an initiative to make it easier for consumers to shop around for deals with no unexpected catches.
The move followed a Treasury-commissioned review led by Carol Sergeant, a former chief risk officer at Lloyds Banking Group, which recommended a suite of simple and transparent financial products.
Maureen Sumner Smith, of BSI, said: "Many organisations have good information security processes already established, but by having their systems independently tested on a regular basis as part of the BSI kitemark process, they can clearly demonstrate to customers their commitment to safeguarding information."
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