Is your mobile wallet safe?
Near Field Communications (NFC) is a technology which is highly prevalent in Japan but is started to spread to other countries. It allows us to pay for goods by simply touching our mobile device to a terminal. This will make the whole process quicker and easier, but is it safe?
The NFC process consists of the credentials from your mobile phone being shared with the terminal in a shop or restaurant. It is quite similar to Bluetooth, except that it only shares enough information to prove your identity, and no more. NFC acts as a kind of debit card, which means you can't check your account details whenever you want like you can with mobile banking. You can, however, access the service without logging in, which makes it easier and quicker. NFC is a fairly new technology but there are already developments in place which could make it possible for payments between two mobile wallets.
The main concern with NFC is whether or not it is actually safe. It has been reported that it is possible for cyber criminals to eavesdrop on the transactions taking place between your mobile wallet and a terminal or other mobile. They increase the wireless communication and listen in on the signals to learn your personal identity credentials.
How can you stay safe?
- Check your bank statement regularly and take note of anything unusual.
- Make sure apps you download are trustworthy and from reliable sources. If it is a bank app, make sure it is the official one for your bank.
- Protect your mobile with a password or passcode and set it to lock automatically.
- Install McAfee® Mobile Security software on your mobile for protection against viruses, malware and spyware. It will also let you lock and wipe your phone remotely if it is lost or stolen so that your personal information stays safe.
You wouldn't leave your computer at risk, and now you can give your mobile and other portable devices the same protection. When you are banking remotely, you are vulnerable, and having these defences in place is vital for your safety.