Most mobile payment system providers will always tell you to be careful out there. This is commendable since they care for your money. However, they do not exactly tell you what to stay safe from and since insecurity is as lazy as it is overused, you are left somewhere between the much talked about insecurity and the independent mobile payment providers ‘ warnings. In this post, I will be straightforward I will tell you what you have been doing that you should stop doing and what you haven’t been doing and you ought to start doing.
DO Deny access to unknown applications on your phone. Recent research by Global Threat center established that Android malware is fast rising. Big reason to worry! You may be convinced to quickly install an Android antivirus but stay warned that you should not be hasty about that either because the authenticity of these anti viruses is in question in the same manner and capacity the same malware are. There are two types of malware that make the financial information stored on your device vulnerable.
- SMS Trojans: these are malware sent to deliver messages from your phone number to premium rate numbers owned by cyber crooks who are out to profit from your sweat. Premium rate numbers are such owned by broadcasting companies. When Trojans send out the messages, your account is debited but you may not notice until you check your phone bill. However, this type of malware does not put electronic mobile money at risk but you eventually suffer loss due to hiked phone bills.
- Spyware: as though they aspire to win an Oscar, these malware are on Android’s malware share. Unfortunately, these spyware gain access to your phone with your permission either directly or indirectly. These spyware pose the biggest threat to your mobile funds as they are loyal enough to send out your account history and, if you are careless enough, your account credentials to their manipulators.
Stay away from unnecessary apps! It can never get clearer than that! If you think you are a tech genius looking for the latest trending mobile applications, please do so with some little consciousness. Review where the app will be accessing (though will not help if scanners and malware are hidden and most are) and avoid applications that request to access from other applications.
DO talk to your IT guy. We have come to a point where we cannot trust reviews by other financial application users. Negative reviews and testimonials are filtered continuously by website administrators and hidden from showing up on your monitor. The only person to trust is your IT guy (I am your IT guy for today by the way). Most applications we use for mobile payment are designed and coded by third parties but published by the specific mobile payment system providers. Third parties have codes to applications and know how to bypass security they created for the applications. Your money gets into risk when one uncouth developer sells out the code to hackers for kickback.
However, there is very little you can do about this situation. When an attack of this nature occurs, it often hits almost everybody who has their account with that provider and it even gets ugly when the developer is hired as a consultant to diagnose and fix the “bug” as that’s what you will be told on the news if it will be published at all.
By talking to your IT guy, you can always get to know which provider uses the latest encryption standards (and by this I do not mean the SSL logo you will see at the bottom of their website).
DO check your bank statements, phone bills and other utility bills. This is the best thing to do if you serious about keeping your mobile wallet safe. When your account is under attack of any nature, whether Trojans or hackers, you will notice one or two mysterious bills when you inspect these statements. When you check and notice any suspicious records, raise alarm to your card issuer, your mobile payment provider and if possible suggest a change of records and by records, I mean you apply to change your credit card and/or abort your mobile payment service provider until you find trustworthy provider if you must ever go down that lane again.
DONOT respond to emails without consultation and verifying the source. If you have not yet received emails claiming that you are a $1 Million lottery winner or you are listed for $5 Billion inheritance, then wait it is on its way. These emails are called scams and they are intended to lure you into revealing your financial detail or, in unsuspecting cases, your contact information. I am warning you against buying any of this idea whatsoever. I know it’s hard to delete an email with $5 billion mentioned in its contents but you got to do it and block that email address.
This helps you escape the temptation to check out what this billion dollar bill is all about. Please DON’T.
DONOT share you financial information. This may sound a cliché but it isn’t. Sharing financial information means a lot more than just sending it via text, email or dictating over the phone. How many websites require you to fill in your card for “age verification only”? How many more request your card information to activate your 120 DAYS FREE trial? You’ve lost the count right? It may be pretty easy to tell scam sites when on a desktop but when on mobile, it is not and that’s where the rains start to beat you.
These four simple do’s and don’ts will guarantee security to your mobile wallet. I will however, continue to update you on the current security trends in the mobile industry and be sure to stay safe out there got there are thousands of people who want to get it. The most important is avoiding the small issues that most people think do not matter yet in fact, they matter a lot.