A mobile wallet makes managing your finances more convenient than ever, but it may be exposing your accounts to new risks. To make sure you’re protected from potential security threats, check out this list below. Whether you use your wallet to tap and pay at the cash or as a way to borrow money on the fly, you’ll want to know these tips.
Use Secured Networks
With a smartphone in your back pocket, you can turn any place into your financial HQ, provided you get signal. That’s what makes the mobile wallet so convenient — it’s available on the go, any time you want to move funds, borrow money, or check a balance.
That being said, there are better times and places to do your financial check-ins.
An unsecured network, like what’s provided at your local café, has very few defences. Anyone using the same network can spy on what you get up to — whether you get an online loan in Tennessee, pay off a bill, or sign into your bank to review your investments. These actions require you to input confidential info that you don’t want prying eyes to see.
When it comes to logging into financial accounts or applying for online loans, you should wait until you’re on a secured network.
Fortify Your Secured Network
While using your at-home network is safer than any free Internet, it’s still not up to snuff. Remember, you probably have a lot of devices hooked up to your network back at home, especially if you’ve curated a smart home with friends or family. A single vulnerability in your network could leave all these devices exposed.
Here are a few steps to patching these vulnerabilities:
- Change the default name (or SSID) of your router
- Create a new, strong password for your Internet
- Keep on top of router software updates
- Start using a VPN
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Once you fill your wallet with payment services, online loan profiles, and investing apps, it becomes a hub of financial information. You want to make sure it’s safe from identity thieves in case your phone gets stolen.
Multi-factor authentication stands up to fraudsters better than a strong password because it usually involves two additional security steps, as shown below:
Step #1: Temporary token or PIN. You’ll receive a one-time code sent to your phone after you share your login credentials. You need to input this PIN within a timeframe to access your account.
Step #2: Biometric data. If you have a fingerprint or face scanner installed on your phone, you’ll have to share this biometric data to open your account.
Between a temporary token and biometric data, multi-factor authentication makes it almost impossible for a fraudster to pretend they’re you — even if they have your password.
Link the Right Accounts
When it comes to digital payments, you’ll want to connect these apps to a credit card rather than your checking account. This way, you’ll limit the effects of fraud to that one credit card if your wallet gets hacked.
Compare this to giving fraudsters the keys to your checking account. Once in this account, they’ll have access to any other account you’ve linked to it.
A mobile wallet may have more security risks than a traditional billfold, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid using it. You can take advantage of its convenience without overexposing your finances to risk — these tips will help you do just that!
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