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Your digital wallet holds the keys to your financial house with banking and contact information you need to protect. Here are three things you can do to keep this financial information under wraps.
1. Enable Every App’s Security Feature
Many of the financial tasks you do with your digital wallet happen in an app — whether you’re paying for your morning coffee, sending money to a friend, or paying a utility bill.
Each app comes with security features that better protect your finances when enabled.
- Passwords: Make sure each app has a unique password that is a randomized mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Multi-factor Authentication: This feature requires you enter a time-sensitive token (shared via text or email) or scan biometric data every time you enter your password. MFA reduces the chance of fraud as it requires a thief to have access to your texts or emails and fingerprints.
2. Be Mindful of Browser Functions
Your digital wallet isn’t contained to purpose-built apps; sometimes, you might use your mobile browser to check some financial tasks off your list, like researching or applying for personal loans online.
If you look for convenient online loans outside of an app, you have to approach your cybersecurity differently based on your objectives.
If you simply plan to do some research, you won’t have to exchange your financial information. That makes search queries (questions like what is a small personal loan and how I qualify for online loans) safer than your average online banking task.
However, you need to be more diligent once you start applying for loans online. Since you need to share confidential information in these applications, you need to make sure you’re interacting with a legitimate financial institution.
You can do that by looking for the following features:
- 256-bit encryption to protect any info you share
- Valid site certificate, represented by the closed padlock next to the URL
- A good online reputation
3. Install Security Apps on Your Phone
You can add to the security features provided by your app or online loan lender by downloading the right apps to your phone.
Anti-Virus: A sophisticated anti-virus app helps you vet websites, links, and attachments on your phone. Some can even prevent background installation of malware.
Locator: If you unintentionally leave your phone behind somewhere, a locator app can help you track where it is. The tech uses your phone’s GPS to send updates regarding its location.
VPN: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides an added layer of encryption for all your in-app and browser activity. When enabled, a VPN makes you impossible to trace by scrambling your IP address and traffic.
4. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi to Do Your Banking
While many of the dangers of public Wi-Fi drop when you use legitimate networks, some risks still exist. Crafty fraudsters know all the ways to hijack unprotected networks to spy on your activity.
You can also easily fall for spoofed Wi-Fi networks. These fake networks look just like other legitimate Wi-Fi in the area, but they can intercept any information you share. Also known as Man-in-the-Middle attacks, these spoofs can steal login credentials, account numbers, and other personal identifying details.
You can avoid these risks simply by using your wireless data to access apps or websites that require sharing confidential material.
By 2026, it’s expected 60% of the world will be using a mobile wallet. If you count yourself as one of them, follow these tips to safeguard your private information.