The mobile phone has become a veritable technological Swiss army knife. Nowadays, smartphone owners can even use their device to make payments using Apple or Android Pay. The device stores payment information, and then it can be used for contactless payments at appropriate point-of-sale terminals. The payment information is encrypted, and it’s very hard for hackers to obtain any relevant information during a data breach. However, there are still some steps that can be taken to improve mobile payment security.
- Make sure that you use a trusted payment platform
Unlike with credit card payments made through merchant accounts, there is always the risk of using a counterfeit to make payments. Hackers have been known to create fraudulent payment apps in order to gain access to customer payment information. To circumvent this, you should only use trusted platforms, such as Apple/Android Pay, Google Wallet or Chase Pay.
- Be careful with 3rd party apps
General apps that are not related to payments can also be a security threat. There have been cases of compromised apps that either contain malware or spyware, or that offer a backdoor into your device. These apps can record payment information and send it to malicious actors. To avoid this, make sure that you only download apps from legitimate companies that have a long history of operation.
- Have a strong layer of protection
First of all, make sure that your phone auto-locks the keyboard. Otherwise, a thief may gain quick access to all the personal and financial information on your phone. You then want to make sure that any passwords you use on your phone respect strong password protocols. Generic passwords such as “password” or “1234” should be avoided, and instead you should add a combination uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers and symbols to ensure maximum security. Some phones will also come with features such as fingerprint unlock or face scan. These are more secure devices.
- Be careful when using public wi-fi
While public wi-fi can be convenient, it unfortunately does not offer much in terms of security. Any information that is passed through one of these networks is accessible by anyone who is connected to the wi-fi. Avoid making online payments using your phone if you are connected to a public wi-fi, because hackers can use their technical expertise to access your payment information.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card
Credit cards are much better protected against fraud. Due to the zero fraud liability policies of most credit card issuers, you are basically fully protected against unauthorized charges. With a debit card however, you will most likely be held liable for any money lost through fraud. Even if you manage to win a fraud case, you will have to wait for a long time before you receive your funds back.
For more information on how to protect your mobile payments, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.