Web surfers are becoming more and more savvy about protecting themselves when they shop online using their computers, but it’s also important to be smart mobile shoppers as well. Many of the same tips apply on your mobile phone or tablet, but there are some mobile-specific tips to consider.
Here are the top threats on your mobile device and how to protect yourself.
Threat: Public wi-fi
Solution: Never (ever, ever!) shop from your mobile device when you’re on a public wi-fi connection. These types of connections aren’t encrypted (so as to give everyone access). If you don’t want the guy next to you, the teenager across from you or the person you can’t see in the parking lot to know your login info and credit card number, don’t enter that information when using public wi-fi.
Threat: Illegitimate “payment apps”
Solution: Your best bet is to always use a well-known app store (Google Play, etc.). Even then, before you download any payment app, it’s best to do your research. Read the app reviews (beware of apps with zero reviews) and follow that up with a search for any possible scams related to that app. When in doubt, apps from institutions you trust (Paypal, your bank, etc.) are the safest ones. Also remember that often, you get what you pay for. Mobile security isn’t worth the discounted price if you’re downloading an app that places malware on your phone.
Threat: Suspicious links in text messages
Solution: If you’re entering personal information on your phone, don’t enter it onto a website that begins with only http:// as that is an unsecured site. Look for https:// (note the addition of the “s”) — that means the site has encryption installed. There are some mobile security products you can purchase that help scan these links as well — do a search to find the best for you.
Now, you’re all set for your holiday shopping on your mobile device!