How to keep your Mobile Wallets safe and secure?

The recent demonetisation by the Indian Government has made general public go for cashless transactions. In a changed scenario of handling virtual money, Mobile Wallets have been on the rise. However, one needs to be vigilant while using these wallets. We will analyse the ways to make your online transactions using mobile wallets safe and secure.

Mobile wallets are not quite new for us. We have been using them for quite some time now. However, so far our focus remained on the cashback that these mobile wallet firms offered. They were meant for occasional use. Not anymore, with the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes, mobile wallets have assumed a broader role to play in making India go for cashless transactions.

Be safe with mobile wallets
How will you make sure that the mobile wallet transactions are secure? Maybe, the mobile wallet apps, or for that matter banking apps are secure in their own right. But, one cannot forget that we use them in a medium that is all pervasive - the Internet. With online frauds and hacking being much common, one needs to employ some means to secure the online transactions. We will list out a few such options here in this article.

App lockers

We may be forced to lend our phones to someone for making a call, or checking a viral video. Would you trust all your acquaintances and let them have a look at your sensitive data? Obviously, no. With App Lockers, you can be assured that no one will have access to your financial data, or even your email.
App Lockers are third party tools that let you add the second password to your apps. You can choose the app that you would wish to lock and leave others unlocked. There are some good App Locker tools available on app stores. As for Android, two of the most popular apps include AppLock and CM Locker.
If you are wary of using a third party app, and if you have a phone that supports the feature - you can use Guest Mode on your phone before you hand over your device to someone. Guest Mode will allow access to only those apps and features on the phone that you would want your friends to access.

Have a look on Notifications

With numerous apps installed on our smartphone, we keep getting hundreds of notifications throughout the day. Most of us just swipe away the notification without taking pains to read them. Never ever do it if you are someone who uses online transactions as a major mode of managing your finances.
Do remember that almost all banks and financial institutes send out notifications about every access to your financial deals. Keep track of them and check them out as soon as they arrive. This alertness can give you a hint if your finance related information is compromised. It would be a wiser step to take a preventive action just in time. If you are lazy to do that, there are apps that can keep track of notifications with respect to your financial transactions. WalNut can be a good example.
Some of us use a secondary email ID for financial transactions. In such case, do not forget to forward your mails from the secondary ID to your main one. That way, you will not miss out on important alerts. It can be much helpful in taking precautions just in case.

Never use rooted devices for financial transactions

Most of us want full control on the features that our phones may have. That is exactly the reason why we root our Android or jailbreak our Apple devices. Rooting and jail-breaking, you will lose the security features that Google and Apple have incorporated into their operating system. Be sure of what you are doing.
Most banking apps these days have stopped working on rooted devices. It is quite good to see banking firms taking action in that direction. Rooted and jail-broken devices are always prone to malware attacks or hacks. This will help hackers get access to your financial information easily.
Pay attention to the third party apps that you give access to your financial data. Use apps from official links and official app stores. Side loading a banking app can prove to be fatal. Choosing an app that has a good reliability factor could be a lifesaver. Use only the apps like PayTM, MobiKwik or FreeCharge to name a few. Beware of the consequences when you share your financial data on any untrusted site.

Avoid Public WiFi

Public WiFi may be good to save on your data. But, it would be good only as far as viewing videos or streaming music. Never trust a public WiFi for your financial transactions.
Public WiFi networks have their own set of compromises. They are not encrypted, and as such give out a lot of details about the users. In fact, we would advise you not to use a phone on a public WiFi at all, if it has any finance related information, or the banking apps.

Use a lock screen code

Whether you use banking apps on your phone or not - securing your phone with a lock screen code should be a practice you need to cultivate. This will do away the possibility of unauthorised access to your smartphone, and the content on it. Use a code that is quite tough to guess.
The recent breed of smartphones come with fingerprint unlocking. Even the budget range devices in recent times have the finger print sensors. Make sure you use the feature if your smartphone has it.
Another secure way to protect your finance from unauthorised access is to use Two Factor Authentication with your banking apps. Most of the banking apps and services provide the feature. The Two Factor Authentication will need you enter a second password to complete the transaction. It may include several ways of providing second authentication like answering a few secret questions.

Do not use third party keyboards

Agreed, third party keyboards offer much flexibility than the stock ones. They come with a host of additional features and support like enhanced Emojis and multiple languages among others. However, are they secure?
The keyboard is an app that has access to all your inputs. Though the premium keyboards like Swype go on record that they do not store any personal information, it goes without saying that a huge data related to your keystrokes is stored on their servers. What if the service is compromised?
Whatever be your reason for using third party keyboards, we would advise you to switch to the stock keyboard while using the banking apps. Being more alert is better than being sorry later.

Summing Up

Well, those were a few ideas we can employ to be more secure while using the Mobile wallets and banking apps on your smartphones, or even on your PCs and laptops. With the surge in the usage of online transactions, evildoers too will be on high alert to find the gullible victims. Do share your own ideas for securing your online transactions. Use a few secure measures and be safe.

Article by Timmappa Kamat
Timmappa Kamat is a technology enthusiast. He has an active interest in newer technological developments. He is fond of new gizmos & gadgets. He loves to share his knowledge through tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, he is equally interested in blogging, with his own blog. He wants to carve a name for himself in blogging arena one day! If you need any clarifications about his articles,please respond here below or get in touch with him through his profile.

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