Security tips to use your phone as your wallet

phone wallet 1024x464 - Security tips to use your phone as your wallet

Telstra security operations specialist Darren Pauli has spent nearly a year with his smartphone replacing a wallet – securely making payments for everyday items and services. There are some guidelines you should keep in mind if you’re considering doing the same.

Apple and Google have invested billions of dollars into information security, with the goal of making their phones harder to hack. The iPhone – with its closed iOS operating system – is the toughest of all, but Google’s Android platform has come leaps and bounds from its anarchic past.

Google had no choice: over 80 percent of all phones sold in the last quarter of 2016 were powered by its Android platform.

Google’s effort means attacks that may have compromised thousands of users in recent years no longer work on updated phones, and it is now much harder and more expensive for attackers to get their malicious apps into official app stores.

Apple and Google, along with Microsoft, have also boosted security investment for services like Google Drive, iCloud, and OneDrive – making those more sensible choices for storing personal data, although there is still much work to be done.

Yet crucially, all of those billions of dollars in investment can be undone if a wallet-free maverick is reckless in their operational security practice.

The security mindset

Think of operational security (or ‘opsec’) as the measure of your security awareness in the world of technology. You win points for knowing how to spot phishing, and for making up a fake birthday and home address for Facebook and other websites.

In short, you become more security-savvy the more you think like an attacker and build roadblocks to frustrate your opponent.

In 2018 this is a necessary skill: You cannot force your favorite online chat forum to use better security that’s harder to hack, but you can change your forum password to something unique or disposable. You can keep your real information out of your forum profile.

And doing this means hackers who break into that forum will not be able to use your password to get into your emails, or use your real name, birthdate, and address to help open a bank account.


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