Living in this modern age, technology has become deeply ingrained in our daily lives. From what used to be something as simple as walking to the store to buy an item, the internet has made it convenient and accessible via online shopping. In this regard, payment and banking have also taken a similar route as we can make easy payments online and through our credit cards or with mobile money.
Everyone now has access to mobile money. We use it to pay for our cab fare, utility bills, restaurant bills, and even to withdraw our monthly salary. In essence, anyone who has a smart phone can be considered as practically carrying their bank account/s with them all the time. The idea is absolutely convenient and on the other hand very risky. Generally speaking, there are quite a number of dangerous loopholes in mobile transactions which the typical internet user may not be aware of.
The Perils of Mobile Transactions
We cannot discount the fact that with a number of benefits, there is an equal amount of risks when it comes to making mobile transactions. Case in point: If you go into a store to buy several items and checkout using your credit card, you would be required to give some personal information about yourself such as your complete name, and sometimes even your phone number. With something as simple as a person’s name or telephone number, hackers and individuals with malicious intentions can easily go through your personal database which can be accessed online. As they say, modern technology has turned the internet as a free-for-all data pool, which can be easily exploited if used by people with unethical intentions. And we’re just talking about a name or a number. Can you imagine what other people could do with your mobile transactions? Sure, most of us, if not all, are quite familiar with the benefits of mobile transactions, but can we say the same for the risks that come along with it? Every time you go online either through your phone or computer, you expose yourself on the internet by giving away important information which includes your location and even more sensitive information such as your financial details to anyone who may be prowling on your network, scouting for vulnerabilities. And don’t be tricked to believe that you are safer when you’re surfing from your own internet at home than connecting to a public Wi-Fi network such as those in cafés and airports because the risk level could be just the same.
Why You Should be Wary of Hackers
With the internet being free for all to access, hackers will always be around waiting for that perfect moment when you carelessly slip out personal information via an unsecured network. This has become a troublesome truth which had already cost a lot of people around the world more than what they’re willing to bargain for. Even if you are careful enough not to lose your credit card, or give out your PIN to anyone, the chances of you getting a message that your account has been debited by the thousands by some unknown individual is not really that far off than you think.
Your financial details are the most sensitive information any one can get access to which is the most private and personal data on the internet. If anyone could get this type of information, finding out more about you would be like stealing candy from a baby. And this could easily lead to identity theft. Once this happens, creditors will be up in your case asking for payment for transactions you may not know about, or receive a tax notice from a job which you never had.
There are more ways than one through which your money can be stolen:
Your stolen identity is just the start. Fraud and money laundering are two of the most prevalent and disastrous issues that plague the mobile money industry today. There is no guarantee that a mobile app developer did not create unauthorized users who have access to your information to initiate and verify transactions. These unauthorized users can manipulate your funds in the bank and transfer them to the developer’s account easily.
Another way others can steal money from you is through SIM swap. The thief can move the valid Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN) to a different handset which the original user has no access to, and thus, will be cut off from receiving any notification (from the bank) when an unauthorized transaction takes place.
What are the Safety Measures You can Take When Making Mobile Money Transactions?
If it’s impossible for you to avoid making these transactions at all, then at least avoid using services or apps which can easily gain access to your personal information and intentionally share (or sell) this information to third parties.
Also, be sure to take it upon yourself to keep your social media accounts private at all cost. If you cannot keep your accounts completely private, then at least try to keep the most important details hidden from the public. While certain information will always be available to the public, it’s best not to share any identifying information such as your place of residence, the name of your spouse, and other work details.
Now that you’ve seen both sides (the good and the bad) of mobile money transactions, it’s important that you intentionally take precautionary measures to secure your online data and privacy. And an excellent way to do so is by getting a VPN service such as VPN Surf to encrypt all data including personal transactions that you send to the internet.
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