Mobile payments are becoming more common on phones and computers, and businesses are taking them at increasing rates. Yet with new possibilities come new threats, and cybercriminals see an opportunity to steal your financial information utilizing such technology. Is Google Wallet, one of the primary forms of mobile payment, safe to use?
Google Wallet protects your information and can be considered safe due to the fact that it uses a virtual card, meaning that the details of your actual credit or debit card aren’t used. That way shady businesses cannot steal credit card information from your phone. In this regard, Google Wallet is much safer than a standard credit card, but there are also specific disadvantages that Google Wallet has that you should be aware of.
The first is that it is connected to your Google account, which, if breached, could cause major problems for you. An unprotected account can lead to identity theft, a loss of privacy and any other problems related to the many services you use Google for. As safe as you think your Google account is, there is probably a way to get into it.
The second is that your phone is that much more valuable a target for thieves. Surprisingly in our digital age, physical threats are the biggest problem to Google Wallet users. If your phones gets stolen, no one will ask any questions until you shut it down on your account (if the thief didn’t take it over from your phone). Centralizing all of the important aspects of your life onto one device can be dangerous in this way.
The first thing you will want to do if you are using Google Wallet is to lock your phone and keep it safely on your person at all times. Just as someone can steal your credit card and use it, a thief can take your phone and use Google Wallet if there are no extra protections.
You will also want to have an immediate plan if you detect a breach or notice anything strange going on with your card. Be sure to use caution when using Google Wallet, as there are certainly people looking to take advantage of both you and the system.
The other main protection you want is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It is a service that will connect you to an offsite secure server using an encrypted connection, protecting their devices from the great risks in using public networks for financial transactions. In fact, they effectively make you invisible online, and they are a small expense. Industry leader in security information, Secure Thoughts, states that some of the best ones are HideMyAss, ExpressVPN and IPVanish.
If you take the above steps and exercise caution when using Google Wallet, you should be fine when it comes to being safe. Do you have any other thoughts on Google Wallet or mobile payments in general? How often do you use and how safe do you feel using it? Investigate more for yourself so you can have an informed opinion on the subject.
About the Author: Cassie Phillips lives for new technology and writing about the latest and greatest in smartphones, computers and gadgets. She is a writer and blogger who specializes in online security, having found a calling in keeping people safe while they enjoy the internet.