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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.

 

The Virtual Money Belt: Keeping Financial Information Safe in Your Mobile Wallet

Apr 22

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Are you still carrying around that miniature leather suitcase with photos of your children, a checkbook and multiple plastic cards? If you still own a wallet, it might be time for an upgrade.

A number of financial institutions and tech companies have implemented mobile payment solutions to meet the changing needs of the business landscape. These allow consumers to pay for morning coffee with the scan of a cellphone or buy items online with a touch of an app. Rewards cards and coupons can be stored on mobile devices; you can even give a friend or family member money without physically exchanging cash.

Although this provides a significant amount of convenience — not to mention pockets and purses that are pounds lighter — you should consider the risks.

Hackers and technology predators have the ability to hijack your transaction. They can transmit your credentials and share your information by extending the range of the wireless signal. So, if you decide to take advantage of this new technology, protect your money and take extra measures to ensure that your personal and financial information is secure when mobile.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your mobile phone is password-protected in case of loss or theft. You should also set your phone to auto-lock after a certain period of time. When downloading mobile apps, only do so from a reputable app store, and verify that the app is legitimate and doesn’t pose a security concern by checking user reviews.

Check your financial statements at least once a week to make sure there isn’t any unusual activity being conducted. If you notice anything strange on your account, act quickly. Your mobile payment is typically covered by the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, but the liability may depend on how quickly you report the problem.

Overall, many mobile payment providers are relatively safe, but taking some precautions can offer you peace of mind, and allow you to enjoy the convenience of wallet-free life.

About the Author: Ash Cash is a business consultant, motivational speaker, financial expert and the author of “Mind Right, Money Right: 10 Laws of Financial Freedom,” and “What the FICO: 12 Steps to Repairing Your Credit.”

Follow Ash Cash on Twitter and Google+.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., an Experian company. ©2015 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.

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