10 Mobile Payment Security Tips for Staying Savvy this Cyber Monday

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Cyber Monday is perfect for those who enjoy the crazy sales associated with Black Friday- just preferably without the crazy public that goes with it! Unfortunately, the vast volume of online transactions made on this day means it’s also a hacker’s dream as well! Yet in a study conducted by McAfee, it was revealed that 32% of people still don’t believe they need security software for their mobile devices- despite this becoming an increasingly popular way to pay. If you are planning to hit the sales virtually, then check out these seven tips to make your device more secure.

• Don’t use public Wi-Fi

Don’t bank or shop online using public Wi-Fi. If you’re checking your online banking, or making a purchase, it is better to use a network that has more security measures in place. Even if you tend to use your own mobile data, it’s worth double checking your settings before proceeding with a transaction.

• Log out of banking and shopping sites- don’t just click the X!

Even if you’re in a rush, always take the time to log out of banking and shopping sites, rather than simply closing the browser. In the unfortunate event that your phone is lost or stolen, it would be easy for someone to log into your account. For the same reason, you should ignore the option to have your username and passwords automatically saved- even if it does make your life that little bit easier!

• Capture your payment confirmation window

Often when you make a purchase online, you’re presented with a page that you can print a copy of for your own records. Obviously this isn’t ideal for mobile devices, but you can take a screenshot of the page and email the file to yourself. Not sure how to do that on your device? Check out this guide.

• Be selective with what websites you trust

When it comes to making online payments, especially on your phone, the best thing to do is trust your instincts. If something doesn’t look right, turn away. Look out for things like misspellings, low resolution logos and requests for excessive amounts of personal information. If you are particularly concerned, it may be best to stick to websites you know and trust. On the same vein, if you do have sites you regularly make purchases on, you may want to download the official app if one is available, so you know you’re definitely going to the right website each time.

• Don’t hack your device

Hacking or tampering with your device can substantially weaken its security, a prominent example of which is the practice of jailbreaking amongst iPhone users- the process of removing hardware restrictions imposed by iOS, Apple’s operating system. As well as undermining built-in security measures, it can also potentially open up new security holes.

• Consider credit cards over debit cards

Although some people might think twice about using a credit card for a mobile purchase, it may actually be a better idea to use a credit card than a debit card if you have one, as they tend to provide more protection than banks.

• Better still, use an online payment system

Online payment services like PayPal use industry-leading technology to store and transmit your banking information.

• Keep your device updated

By making sure you are always using the latest version of your mobile web browser, whether that be Chrome, Safari, Firefox or even Internet Explorer, you are receiving the benefit of built-in security features that protect you from malware.

• Install a mobile security app

You wouldn’t not install antivirus software on your laptop or desktop, but your smartphone contains just as much (if not more) sensitive information, especially if you use it for making payments. Mobile malware is increasingly on the rise, but luckily there are a number of free android security apps available.

• Keep an eye out for shoulder surfers

Beware of shoulder surfers- particularly if you use your phone on the commute, cramped up against lots of other passengers on the tube, train or bus. As well as gleaning your bank details, they could also gain access to other valuable data such as your PIN code or passwords for other accounts, like your email or online banking accounts. Again, using a system like PayPal here means you don’t even have to get your card out which is better.