We use payment apps daily and we take it for granted that our financial transactions are quick, effortless, and secure. However, it’s enough to fall prey to a hacking attack just once to lose all the savings. In this article, you’ll find useful advice on how to efficiently protect your payment apps even if you don’t have profound technical knowledge.
We use payment apps daily without thinking too much about their security. We are accustomed to quick effortless transactions, and in most cases, everything runs smoothly. However, it’s enough to fall hackers’ prey just once to lose all the savings from your account. In this article, you’ll find useful insight on how to protect your funds in any app, regardless of its name and developer.
Security is the key factor
When choosing which payment app to install, we might rely on different factors. We often choose the apps that our friends and colleagues recommend. We might install an app that is compatible with a particular shop. The design and the layout of the app, the bonuses it offers to its users can also influence our choice.
However, these are secondary factors, and the primary one is security. Try to get to know which security technology the app is based on and in which aspects it is more reliable and forward-thinking than all the other alternatives available on the market. If you are not an expert in the field, consult your IT specialist.
Avoid third-party sources
Download payment apps exclusively from the AppStore, Google Play, or the official sites of their developers. Pay special attention to the price of the app: if you heard or read that the app is free but someone is asking you to pay for it, this might be a scam.
Verify the publishers
In Google Play, credible and reputable developers are marked with a Top Developer badge. This is a 100% sign that can’t be faked. It’s a good idea to glance through the users’ reviews in the shop. Also, you can google the name of the app and check people’s opinions on it.
The number of downloads is another meaningful indicator: if thousands of users installed the app, it means it should be trustworthy.
Check the permissions
If an app asks you to introduce detailed personal information, you should become suspicious. The app shouldn’t require too many permissions or sensitive data, especially if it’s not directly connected to payments.
Enable the OTP
One time passwords are an efficient measure to protect your payments. When you or someone else tries to use your card or account to purchase something, a message with the OTP will be sent to your phone or email. The payment won’t be processed unless you introduce this code in the corresponding field.
Don’t transfer funds when connected to a public Wi-Fi network
Enable your device’s hotspot for the transaction. Otherwise, use VPN. A virtual private network will encrypt all the data that you send to the server. If hackers intercept it, they won’t be able to make use of it. Even better, try to use your home network and make sure that you and your family or flatmates are the only people who know the password to it.
Never open random links
When you receive a link in an email or a message, don’t haste to open it. It might be a phishing attack. Hackers invite users to click on the link and maybe also introduce their personal data in a new window. Like this, they get hold of your passport number, bank card details, and other financial credentials. They might use this data right away to steal your savings or sell it to a third party. Links to shopping or banking projects are particularly risky in this aspect.
Buy goods only in trusted and reliable shops
It’s a wise idea to create multiple payment accounts and order several bank cards. When you want to purchase goods or services from an unknown provider, use the card that you keep “for special occasions”. It should contain precisely the sum that you are planning to spend. In case hackers steal the number and CVV code of this card, it won’t affect your main savings.
Invent long and difficult passwords
This rule might seem obvious, but too many users neglect it. An ideal password contains 8 or more symbols including numbers, small and capital letters. Never use a password that is easy to guess — that is, don’t set your name, date of birth, or other personal information as your password.
You may try to use an app or a service that automatically generates complicated passwords and saves them for you. Some browsers feature this function as well (Google Chrome, for instance).
Update your device and the payment app regularly
Their updated versions are better protected against hacking attacks. If the app offers automated updates, please enable this function.
Install a security app on your device
Such an app will detect hacking attacks and other hazards before they target your device. If there is a threat in the system, you’ll receive a timely notification. The security app will help you get rid of this threat and will scan the system once again to make sure it’s clean and safe.
A good example of such software is MacKeeper. Before you download it, read reviews on MacUpdate to weigh all the pros and cons and make an objective decision.
Use your credit card and not the debit one
If a hacker gets hold of the data of your credit card and tries to steal your funds, you’ll most likely get a phone call from your bank. Banks normally ask credit cardholders to confirm suspicious transactions, otherwise, the funds will be blocked.
Monitor your spendings
Every couple of days monitor the history of your spendings made through the app. Some hackers try to steal all of their victims’ savings in one go, while others prefer to spend smaller sums in diverse shops.
Now you know how to protect your payment apps. We need to always keep vigilant because hackers are constantly improving their methods, seeking new ways of cheating on gullible users and getting hold of their funds. Fortunately, you don’t need to have the profound technical knowledge to provide basic protection to your finances. Hopefully, this article came in handy and you will follow its advice.