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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Stay Safe When Paying With Your Smartphone

Convenience has always been king which has lead to a surge of using cashless payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo. However, with the convenience of cashless payments, there comes a certain set of risks. I know many of you may have a little reluctance in using cashless transactions, but in truth, these apps are safe if used correctly. One of the misconceptions is that someone can hack into your device and get access to your money, but this isn’t completely true. If you want to know how to keep your cashless transactions safe and secure, check out these quick and easy tips to keep your money and information safe.

The important thing you need to know about keeping safe when you use digital money apps is that 99% of cybercrime requires user interaction. Doesn’t matter which one of the apps that you are using, you need to make sure that you are using strong passwords and make sure that all of the passwords for your online accounts are different. Also, it's important you avoid falling scams on digital/money apps because they are using credentials that have been leaked onto the Internet. This practice is called 'credential stuffing' as cybercriminals will look for usernames and password information on the dark web and then use those credentials to log in to popular online sites especially ones that will help the criminals get access to money.

Using cashless services are safer than actual credit card transactions because these services don’t provide credit card numbers to the merchant instead, but there are some steps you need to follow to keep your transactions safe:

1. Use different passwords for all of your online accounts. It's very important that you keep your passwords strong and different for all of your online accounts. When you use money apps, using different passwords ensures that if one of your accounts is compromised, all of them won’t be compromised because you’re using different passwords.

2. Enable two-factor authentication on all of your money apps. Two-factor or two-step authentication it’s a process where you enable your money app to send you an alert whenever you log on from a different location or if a criminal gets your information. The first step is entering your password, the second step is to authenticate that is actually you. The authentication will come in the form of an email or a text message to your smartphone. Two-factor authentication has an extra layer of protection to keep your account safe.

3 use a password manager for your apps. It’s a pain in the butt to keep track of all of your online passwords so one of the best things that you can do is enable a password manager for your money apps. Password managers come in different forms. You can download LastPass to keep track of all the passwords for your apps. If you don’t want to download a different app, your smartphone, tablet offers you the options to save the passwords on your devices. Many people wonder if this is a safe method, it is as long as you make sure that you keep your phone protected which leads to …..

4. Make sure you password protect your phone and mobile devices. Just think of all the information cybercriminals could get if they get access to your smartphone. They have access to your banking, credit cards, and other apps that contain your financial data. Your smartphone or other mobile device is automatically encrypted when you put a password on it. So make sure that you take that extra step. Also, it makes sense in modern smartphones. Facial recognition and thumbprint identification is an easy way for you to keep your phone locked and not allow access to your device.

In our digital age when your data is considered gold, you need to do all you can to protect your personal information and sensitive data when using different money apps. By being vigilant and taking a few precautionary steps, you can keep your data and personal information safe.

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