Weatherford Democrat

Columns

June 9, 2013

Keeping Your Money Safe over the Phone

By KATHY SMITH

Many people have been following unsafe practices and don’t even realize it. Are you one of them?

• 55% of all people have shared their mobile or tablet PIN with others.

• More than one in ten people use the same PIN across multiple devices and accounts.

• 15% of people store password details on their phone.

While many there are many security measures are in place to provide safety of digital transaction, online and mobile consumers may still face privacy risk. An open Wi-Fi connection, a lost phone, or an accidentally revealed password is just a few ways that your information can get out without your permission. Fortunately there are some tips and tools to help you make safe and secure transactions online and on the go. These tips come from Your Digital Dolls; Safety and Privacy in Online and Mobile Transactions.

• Avoid shopping or banking in public Wi-Fi hotspots. If you must use public Wi-Fi, make sure you are at a secure site, disable file sharing and use a virtual private network such as Private WiFi to protect your identity.

• Use a digital wallet. Your bank or payment processor may offer digital wallet service to allow you to make purchase online without having to enter credit card numbers of other payment information.

• Delete old banking and transaction text message. Old messages that contain account balance or other private information should be deleted from your phone.

• Check website security. Verify that https:// (not just http://)  is the browser’s address bar. All legitimate finance and retail websites use the Secure Sockets Layer encryption to make it safe to bank or pay online.

• At home, lock your wireless network. Leaving your wireless network “unlocked” means that anyone within range of your Wi-Fi signal can access it and possibly capture the data you send and receive on an unencrypted site.  To secure your wireless network, password-protect your router.

Protect yourself by taking the precautions to keep your identity and dollar safe. 

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Kathy Smith is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Parker County. Contact her at (817) 598-6168 or kl-smith@tamu.edu.

 

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