Mobile payment options are rapidly replacing traditional payment methods by allowing consumers to complete transactions via mobile wallets. Tens of millions of people in the United States are using mobile payment options such as Paytm, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay. Mobile payment options are flexible and convenient, but are they secure?
Mobile payments are generally safe. In fact, some argue that mobile payment options are more secure than cash or physical credit card overall. However, mobile payment methods are not 100 percent threat free. Here are the top security concerns associated with mobile payments.
Bad User Habits
Bad user habits can increase the risk of fraud when using mobile payment. For instance, using a dedicated mobile app is the most secure way to complete online payments. However, many consumers continue to use the website versions to make payments despite having dedicated mobile apps. Mobile browsers have a higher risk of abuse by fraudsters, hence not a safe way to make mobile payments.
Malicious App Clones
Google and Apple have strict requirements when it comes to uploading apps on their platforms. Hackers still manage to sneak malicious app clones into the devices of unsuspecting users. Fraudsters tend to target iPhone users with jailbroken devices. Android users are highly likely to install clone apps from the less regulated third-party vendors. Malicious banking apps will steal your card information and other sensitive financial data on your device.
Multiple Software Options
The smartphone landscape is more varied in terms of hardware and operating systems compared to desktop and laptop computers. In some parts of the world, consumers are still using low-end devices running on older versions of iOS and Android. These devices don’t have the latest safeguards. Fraudsters and hackers can easily exploit known vulnerabilities to steal card information and other user data.
Protecting Against Mobile Payment Fraud
Undoubtedly, there are some security concerns that you should think about when using mobile payment. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop using mobile payment options altogether. There are various security measures you can take to mitigate the risk of fraud when using mobile payments. Read on to learn more.
Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your sensitive data allowing you to access the internet safely and securely. When you make a financial transaction, a VPN secures your data with end-to-end encryption. The financial data is only decrypted when it’s received on the other end. Encrypt your financial information with a secure VPN connection to protect against malware, fraud, and phishing scams on unsecured networks.
Don’t Send Sensitive Information Through Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks could be extremely dangerous if you don’t protect your devices. Cybercriminals have the technical know-how when it comes to hacking individual devices. Given that information transmitted over public Wi-Fi networks is accessible to everyone on the network, sending sensitive data such as financial information through public Wi-Fi is very risky.
Use Strong Passwords
Always make sure that your phone is locked. Someone can easily access your phone and steal sensitive financial information stored on your phone if it’s unlocked. Use strong passwords and don’t ignore other security features on your device, including fingerprint unlock, iris scan, and facial recognition.
Activate Anti-Theft Features
People lose their mobile phones all the time. You can use your phone’s built-in anti-theft tools to lock a stolen or lost device and make it inoperable to an unauthorized user. Alternatively, you can remotely wipe personal data added after purchase, including contacts, emails, and photos from the device.
Only Use Trusted Payment Platforms
Always make sure that you use only trusted payment platforms when using mobile payment. Use the latest versions of the software provided with your smartphone to add payment information to the device. Only use trusted and verifiable third-party platforms such as PayPal.
Mobile payment is rapidly replacing conventional payment methods such as cash and physical credit cards. Mobile payment options are not completely safe; there are certain loop falls that fraudsters can exploit to steal your financial information. However, there are precautions that consumers can take to continue using this convenient payment method safely.