Information Security in the Era of Google Wallet

by Guest Author on November 26, 2012

in Guest Posts, Mobiles, Security

Make sure your phone is secure, not a liability!

About a decade ago, Microsoft let everyone know that the future of payment was using their phones and devices enabled with Bluetooth. While that never really happened, Google’s push for mobile payment seems to be much timelier and actually gaining traction.

With popular phones using Google’s payment technology, it’s becoming more and more likely that your phone is capable of using Google Wallet to pay at your favorite merchants. You may be tempted to start using this technology right away, but it’s important to be vigilant and mindful of potential security loopholes before you enable your phone to carry all of your financial information.

Keep your phone locked

This one is so obvious and simple to implement, yet a majority of smartphone users (62%, according to Javelin Strategy and Research) don’t even utilize a password-style lock screen on their phone. The truth is, most thieves that steal your phone aren’t computer programmers that plan on cracking your phones security to get your information. They likely will use the easy to find methods of resetting your phone so they can use it, or sell it. If that’s the case, your locked phone has done its job and once they reset your phone, all your essential information will be gone, and while a stolen phone is pretty bad, having all of your banking information vulnerable is much, much worse.

Download security apps

If you’re going to let your phone store all your information, make sure you have some security apps installed on your phone. Apps like SeekDroid and Missing Droid Locator offer the ability to not only find your phone if it is stolen or lost (using web or software based applications from a desktop computer) but they allow it to be locked down, removing the ability for others to gain access to your phones data. If you choose to install a security app like the above mentioned, make sure they also have the ability to remotely data-wipe your phone, because really tech-savvy thieves could still break into your phone and steal your information.

Password management

As was mentioned earlier, keep your phone locked! Using a pin-type, graphic-type, or standard password type lock screen is vital, and while it is a hassle to take those 1.7 extra seconds to get to your new text message, think of the peace of mind you’ll have if your phone is ever lost or stolen. In that same vein, make sure everything on your phone that has the option of using a password does (as Google Wallet does) and that as inconvenient as it may be, to not have your passwords saved.

If someone even has access to your email, they can potentially use that to gain access to virtually every other password secured application or service you use. While we are on the subject, make sure your passwords are definitely using a combination of numbers, letters, and if applicable, symbols, and of course, the longer the better.

Physical Barriers

Because of the technology that Google Wallet uses (near field communication) it remains a possibility that people out there could steal information from NFC-enabled cards and mobile devices. The good news is that you have to be really close for NFC to function, which means even keeping your phone in a purse will likely prevent a thief from using NFC against you. For the men out there, you may consider investing in a cellphone case that has an aluminum shield built in.

Trusted Sources

For many of us, apps are what make smart phones so useful and what provide the draw to buying newer and better phones. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all apps are created equal, and that you should do your homework before installing any application on your phone. Generally speaking, the Google Play store and even credible 3rd party App Stores like Amazon’s will ensure that only respectable developers are allowed to post their applications for you to download.

Still, research any apps with access to your financial information, and see if any red flags have been raised about permissions or questionable code being used. Finally, definitely be cautious if an app requires you to disable the built in security feature of Android “Use only Trusted Sources” setting.

[tp lang=”en” only=”y”]

Guest article written by: Julia Peterson is a writer for AndGeeks.com, a popular website that provides up-to-date news, detailed commentary, and unbiased reviews on T-Mobile cell phones and related topics. Julia resides in Galveston, Texas in a cozy little house in the country with her husband, young son, and their Labrador retriever, Darby.

[/tp]

[tp not_in=”en”]

Guest article written by: Julia Peterson is a writer for AndGeeks.com, a popular website that provides up-to-date news, detailed commentary, and unbiased reviews on T-Mobile cell phones and related topics. Julia resides in Galveston, Texas in a cozy little house in the country with her husband, young son, and their Labrador retriever, Darby.

[/tp]

Comments & Leave a Comment

comments

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Aasma November 27, 2012 at 08:48

It’s essential to use proper security settings for your smartphone as more people use it access essential data and online make payment.

The crucial points to use reliable apps only, best internet security antivirus, tough smarphone password. Really useful and informative article about security.
Aasma recently posted… Paying Guest in Delhi for Girls

Reply

Rayzel Lam November 29, 2012 at 11:29

This is very true… I have a friend who’s google mail account has been hack. It really is important to secure your account in your phone.
Rayzel Lam recently posted… My hCG Diet Journey: R5VLCD20 General Update

Reply

 
Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: