The popularity of mobile wallets has grown exponentially over the years. All major players such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft have released their version of wallet apps to support NFC-based payments. These developments have also allowed traditional financial institutions to step up and join the bandwagon by providing digital payment services. With so many companies investing in this new-age solution it seems only natural that mobile wallets are the future of payment transactions.
However, despite their convenience and security features, mobile wallet apps still have many skeptics who do not trust them to be secure enough. They fear that hackers will breach company built-in security measures and steal their personal information or funds stored in their digital wallets. This is why it is important to understand how mobile wallet transactions work, their benefits, and the various ways in which these apps can be breached so this can be prevented.
History Of Mobile Wallets
Mobile wallets were introduced through payment apps like Square, PayPal, and Google Wallet. These applications allowed users to use their phones as a digital wallet for purchasing products online or at physical stores. This was made possible by NFC (Near Field Communication) which is a wireless technology that allows devices within close range to communicate with each other.
This was followed by the introduction of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay, which all utilize the NFC feature to make mobile wallet transactions possible. Since their launch, these applications have gained popularity for their convenience and security features.
Are Mobile Wallets Secure?
Since NFC technology is the only requirement to make mobile wallets work, hackers and cybercriminals can easily intercept these radio signals and gain access to users’ sensitive personal information. This is why both financial institutions and device manufacturers need to implement security systems that will add an extra layer of protection when conducting mobile wallet transactions.
Mobile wallets can be breached in various ways. But the most common way is by using counterfeit devices, such as fake NFC card readers and mobile phones. These hackers will try to intercept users’ information by mimicking an NFC-enabled payment terminal and tricking them into giving out their sensitive details. To prevent these kinds of attacks financial institutions constantly update their security features and issue regular security updates for their mobile wallet apps to keep criminals at bay.
5 Tips to Improve Your Mobile Wallets Security
Here are five security tips for mobile wallets:
1. Enable a Passcode
Enabling passcode protection on your mobile device will give you the peace of mind that only your family and friends will be able to access it without any limitations. Most mobile devices today have this feature already built-in. It is usually located within the “Security” or “Privacy Settings” of your device. Your mobile wallet’s security code should be different from your phone lock screen passcode.
2. Beware Of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are one of the most popular ways hackers gain access to people’s personal information online. Be wary of messages, e-mails, or phone calls that seem suspicious and ask for additional personalized information. Never follow links or sign in using your mobile wallet app if you are not 100% sure it is a legitimate request from your financial institution.
Mobile wallet apps usually have security measures in place to prevent and block phishing scams. You can also turn on two-factor authentication where you will be required to sign in by entering a verification code sent through your device for every transaction made using your mobile wallet app.
3. Update Your Mobile Wallet Application
You should always update your mobile wallet app whenever there is a new update available. This will provide you with additional security features that can help protect your information from being hacked or breached. Samsung Wallet is one of the mobile wallet apps that provide users with updates daily so they are less susceptible to malware attacks.
4. Enable Fraud Alerts
You should activate the “fraud alerts” option when you first set up your mobile wallet app. This will allow you to receive instant alerts whenever a suspicious transaction is made using your phone number or e-mail address.
5. Restrict Remote Usage
If your smartphone does not have an NFC chip embedded in it, then you can restrict the usage of mobile wallets on that device by disabling the “remote usage” option. This will only allow the device to be used near an NFC terminal that is connected directly to your financial institution’s servers.
Future of Mobile Wallets
Mobile wallets are becoming increasingly popular because of the convenience that it offers users. Not only does it give them the ability to purchase items anywhere, anytime, but mobile wallet apps can also be used as secure storage for other important information such as medical records, e-tickets, and contact information all in one place.
The mobile wallet market is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years with Apple Pay alone having more than 383 million users worldwide. The introduction of new features and updates continues to provide consumers with better ways to protect their information online.
As advancements are made, security measures will continue to be improved, providing consumers with secure methods on how they can protect themselves against fraud attacks.
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