Now that mobile payment technologies are seeing higher adoption rates, commerce (both on and offline) is adapting fast. More and more, consumers are finding opportunities to utilize a digital wallet from their phone at their favorite stores. Even though this technology is new, there are still dangers to using it without proper security precautions. Here are some tips to help keep your wallet safe.
Protect Your Device
Digital wallets rely on access to your mobile device. Password/fingerprint protecting that device is part of basic security for all of your applications. Wherever possible, you should also enable two-factor authentication as well.
Protecting your device also means keeping it close at hand. If you’re using it at a store, or at a restaurant, and you need to leave your immediate area, never leave your device alone. Even if it’s locked with a passcode. Theft can lead to intrusion later, so the best defense is keeping the device close and under your control.
What you browse on actually affects your ability to carry out secure transactions. Make sure you avoid public wifi access, and always make sure you’re browsing on SSL encryption. Most modern mobile browsers support this kind of encryption.
If you’re confused on what all this means, here’s the simple way to look at it: if you didn’t need a password to login to the network, it’s probably not secured. The only exception is when you pay for access, and must browse using a private network.
The final piece of advice is to make sure you’re installing apps you trust. Your digital wallet app is most likely trustworthy, but other apps may not be. Free games and apps are especially prone to phishing attempts. Granting access to these apps can have far reaching consequences, including loss of access to your wallet.
Android has implemented changes to its operating system that inform the user of the permissions an app is seeking upon install, and provides greater detail on what those permissions grant and are used for. Transparency is becoming an important part of doing business online.
Your digital wallet will become an important part of your life as more commerce moves online. Safeguardign your device will become as important as keeping your wallet out of reach from passersby. You’ll need to take extra steps to secure the operating system, and clean malicious applications as well.