Are you using your smart phone or a mobile wallet to pay for purchases over the holiday season? The ease and convenience of these options have made them increasingly popular in the past years. Some experts say that paying with a smart phone can even be more secure than paying with credit or debit cards. But that doesn’t mean they are immune to fraud. Here’s what to look out for and ways to protect your identity when paying with a smart phone.
Types of Smart Phone Fraud
One of the biggest security concerns if you pay with your phone is the chance of your phone being lost or stolen. This presents the biggest security threat, especially when compared to the other two most common types of fraud. These include someone “spoofing” your wallet and your phone being infected with malware. Malware operates similarly to how malware on your computer would work. Spoofing is when a cyber-criminal sues an unsecured WiFi network you enter personal information on, and the fraudsters re-creates or “spoofs” your personal data.
How to Protect Yourself When Paying With A Smart Phone
When you pay with your smart phone take some precautions. These include not using unsecured WiFi networks to input personal data. If you need to add an account to a mobile wallet always do so at home, on a trusted and password protected network. You should also never click on any sketchy or suspect links on your smart phone, as this can install malware. And if you do lose your phone, use an app or tool that will remotely wipe your personal data so your information won’t be compromised.
Other Smart Phone Security Practices
There are also some preventative things you can set up to help protect yourself. The biggest one is enabling two-factor authentication on your phone and within any banking apps. This can be password and face or thumbprint recognition, or being sent a unique code you must enter to gain access to an app’s information. You should also always use a banking app and not check or monitor your accounts in an Internet browser. An app will have protection measures enabled already and are less susceptible to malware attempts.
No single payment method is completely secure, but paying with your smart phone can be. Just make sure you are smart about your smart phone to protect yourself and your personal data. If you want more information on cyber security, check out our Fraud Alert Center. and if you have not downloaded our mobile banking app do so now!
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