Top Mobile Payment Security Risks and How to Stay Safe

How to Solve Mobile Payment Security Concerns | CardConnect
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Today, more and more people are turning to the convenience rendered by mobile payment methods. But, in every area, improvement in technology also means new risks and vulnerabilities, and mobile wallets are not exempted. Hackers are always looking for gaps in the apps to try and steal money or threaten users with their personal data, which could lead to huge monetary and character loss.
However, many experts argue that mobile methods provided by major merchants are more secure compared to physical cash and cards. This is because of the encryption and tokenization used in mobile wallets to conceal the payment card account number whenever you enter it.
Mobile payment methods, just like any other payment methods, are not 100% safe. Let’s look at some of the risks associated with this payment method and how we can protect ourselves.
Susceptibility in CDMA or GSM Channels
You may not know this but your CDMA or GSM providers are vulnerable to hacking. Service payment providers utilize CDMA or GSM transmission systems to verify your account, through different methods like messages. However, these systems may not offer the desired level of encryption, making them vulnerable to hackers.
To safeguard user information, service providers can use technologies that use distinctive double 2048-bit electronic and encryption on all data stream flowing to and from your device. This makes such fraud impossible since a lot of time is needed for decryption.
Using Fake Apps
Today’s cybercriminals are a bit more advanced than the ones from before. Since mobile payment apps keep increasing in number, criminals have started to create fake apps to trick unsuspecting users into sending their data.
Google recently removed more than 50 fake apps from its app store that were found to be serving harmful ads to users. The sad part is that typical users wouldn’t tell the difference between fake and real apps.
Since it may not be possible to avoid apps altogether, the best thing to do is to be vigilant and look out for any signs of possible risks. Look out for things such as spelling mistakes in the app’s description, and refrain from clicking on any pop-up ads within the app you are using.
Spy and Malware Attacks
If your device is unsecured, you may mistakenly install malware or spy programs while downloading programs from the web. The malware and spy programs can seize the information you enter on your devices such as a password or PIN, or any other personal data.
To protect yourself, ensure your device has a good antivirus installed. Good antivirus software like Kaspersky, AVG, and Avast enables you to schedule scans that automatically run and remove any harmful code it discovers, keeping your device healthy. You can also secure your financial information with a VPN.
Apps Requesting for Direct Links to Bank and Credit Accounts
While it may be part of the sign-up procedure, linking mobile payment apps to bank accounts is something that doesn’t really appeal to cybersecurity professionals. This is because if a hacker gets access to your app details or seizes your transactions, they will have easy access to your savings or checking accounts, and you don’t want to imagine the amount of financial damage that can be done with that type of information.
If possible, use apps that do not ask you to link to any of your accounts. Above all, never enter your banking details in an app that is not 100% trustworthy.
Losing your Device
Your smartphone contains a lot of your personal data including social media apps, a collection of your photographs, your names, and contact information among other things. Similarly, it also offers full access to debit cards, credit cards, and bank account through different payment apps, online banking apps, and mobile wallets, etc.
Losing your phone could, therefore, be very disastrous as all your personal data could possibly get leaked and lead to frauds. Just ensure your smartphone comes with built-in protection to safeguard your mobile phone wallets and your phone. Also, activate multi-factor authentication on your phone.
So, as we have seen, mobile payment methods come with its fair share of risks but you can protect yourself and your money by following some simple steps.