In today’s society, almost everything can now be done digitally. You can purchase things online, wire money, even pay bills online. But with an ever-growing digital presence, there come hackers looking to steal your information. If you’re wondering if it’s safe to make these kinds of digital payments on a cellphone, keep reading.
Unfortunately, no matter how much people or companies try, no one is ever completely safe from hackers. Just look at corporations like Target or Sony, these are two companies worth billions and even they were not immune to hackers and cyberattacks. While you may never be 100% immune from cyberattacks, there are still steps you can take to help make sure that your risk is less.
The Risk of Mobile Payments
No system is completely safe from hackers. Even the most sophisticated systems have their vulnerabilities, so even if you use a secure site, you may still run the risk of being attacked.
The following 3 examples show how your information is vulnerable when you use your cellphone to make payments:
- Your digital/mobile wallet can be spoofed: With the use of smart phones to make payments, many people have starting using mobile wallets to store their credit and debit cards. This can be a smart idea, as mobile wallet apps use strong encryptions and randomly generated payment tokens to ensure the safety of your information.
But the risk comes when you add multiple cards onto your wallet as well as using an unsecured public network to make payments. By using an unsecured public network, hackers who troll such networks can copy your mobile wallet’s system. So when you enter your card info to make a payment, you’re inadvertently giving hackers your personal and financial information.
- Malware can infect your phone: Typically, hackers use malware to take control of computers to steal passwords and other private information from you. However, over the past few years, mobile malware has become a growing threat. Usually, malware shows up as an unwanted ad or link that you click on, but there are some programs out there that are so sophisticated that they can be put into apps.
- You can lose your phone: Many people don’t consider this as a potential problem, but it is perhaps the easiest way for someone to get your personal information. If you accidently drop or lose your phone in a public place, then you run the risk of someone finding it. And it’s not just your information that is vulnerable, as your phone will likely have all your contact information, so hackers can try and steal from them as well.
How to Safeguard Yourself When Making Payments on Your Cellphone
Technically, mobile payments might be safer than other traditional payment options. This is because when you make a payment through most apps, you are not required to give your card number or its expiration date. But that does not mean that you are completely safe from hackers.
So to help keep your information safe, we have come up with several options to consider when making payments on your cellphone:
- Create strong passwords: Depending on what type of phone you have, there can be multiple ways to unlock your phone. From fingerprint readers, face recognition, and even numerical codes. It’s best that you create a two-password system or a complicated password that only you will know, to keep out any unwanted person.
- Use secure networks: Typically, hackers tend to spend time on unsecure networks like the free Wi-Fi provided at hotel lobbies or airports. Because of this, places like these are considered hot zones for your information to be stolen. If you are going to make a digital purchase from your phone, it’s best to wait until you can connect to a more secure network like your home or office.
- Download a phone finder app: One of the best ways for your information to be stolen is for you to lose your phone. In order to locate your phone quickly, should you lose or misplace it, it is recommended that you install a phone finder app. By installing this type of app and giving a friend access to it, you can easily track your phone down before the worst happens.
The digital age we live in is quite a wonder. We can do so much online these days that our lives have never been simpler. Although making purchases has never been simpler, thieves have gotten more sophisticated and are now able to steal your information right from your cellphone or computer.
Luckily, there are several ways to stay safe from such predatory behavior. It’s all a matter of being smart on how you use your digital information on a cellphone.