Mobile Payments and Digital Theft
Software and hardware are as good as cash
Mobile payments are on the rise – surely, you’ve at least heard of Apple Pay, Android Pay, WeChat, Venmo, and various other mobile payment services? They’re also referred to as e-wallets and digital wallets, but the overall idea is the same. Face ID, fingerprints, and 4-digit PINs are common ways to secure and access these digital wallets. This is all personal information. Most people use a PIN related to their birthday, home address, or some other piece of pertinent information. When this personal information is leaked on the internet, what can you do?
Identity theft will evolve to include biometric data, packaged neatly with your name, address, social security number, and bank account number for criminals to buy and sell on the black market. More and more pieces of technology are collecting biometric and basic personal information. It’s gotten to the point where airport terminals and cheap smartphones can collect fingerprints and facial recognition data – there’s no way all this information is secure. Governments and technology companies rarely admit when there has been a data breach on their end. At the end of the day, it’s your problem and their mistake.
Wiperts specializes in removing personal information from the internet. Personal information that doesn’t need to be online shouldn’t be. Wiperts.com is a privacy company that prevents identity fraud and theft. A digital wallet is just as good as a physical wallet, maybe even better for criminals to steal. Preventing your personal information from being stolen is the first step to preventing crime. Even if a criminal is unsuccessful cracking your digital wallet, with enough personal information they can attempt other credit related scams or go straight to your home and commit burglary.
Some hackers and criminals are extremely driven to be the first. There is a 100% chance that someone is trying to completely spoof Apple Pay from step A-to-Z. Getting login information can be done, and even 2-step verification might not be enough – imagine getting a message saying that your account is being signed in from another far away location. Then you receive a message from an unknown number saying it’s someone you know well. They’re using a VPN, which is why the location is different and they’re using a digital number like Google Voice. Ridiculous, right? But maybe their acting is good enough to make you believe them. Smooth criminals will have a thousand different excuses handy.
Ultimately in the end, they’re trying to pay for something using your mobile wallet. In a lapse of judgement, you confirm the login or send them the verification code. The criminal actor can now spend your money.
They can act as if they’re a close family member by stealing personal information. They don’t need to memorize anything, they just put the stolen personal information on their smartphone to convince you that they are, who they say they are. This is called social engineering. Their goal is to bypass your guard – don’t let them score. If they don’t answer a phone call or are in a noisy area and you can’t confirm their identity, it’s a safe call to deny their request. Responsible people bring what they need, when they need it. Don’t feel bad that someone can’t experience instant gratification using your money.
Send money with Zelle and other apps
There are banks that let you send large amounts of cash via a bank-to-bank network, it’s called Zelle. There are also mobile apps that let you send money, but they all share one similar thing: you need to login in order to send and receive money. Of course, these banks and apps all say your transactions are safe and secure, but good luck getting your money back after it has been whisked away. The safeguards to protect your online banking are very much the same as anything else – the bank’s customer representative will ask for your name, address, and social security number. A determined criminal will social engineer their way through the red tape.
Other than a police report, how can you prove that your identity has been stolen? Even more so, how can you prove that your online banking has been defrauded? In theory, you call, complain, and sit back as the bank takes care of it. But what if your bank doesn’t believe you? It’s better to be safe than sorry – you’ll want to keep all traces of personal information that can be used against you off the internet and Wiperts can help you do just that.
Sign out of other sessions
Signing out of other sessions and changing your password is a great way to secure your online accounts. Facebook, Gmail, and other big-name apps offer this security feature. Sometimes people exploit your account simply because you forgot to log out. Whether it’s friends or strangers, it’s best that you keep your accounts limited to personal use. There are plenty of private and confidential messages in your Facebook and Gmail that aren’t meant for other eyes.
Making all other sessions log out and forcing them to sign back in, ensures that your account is secure – changing your password and enabling two-step verification are two additional steps that you can take if you really suspect that your account is compromised. If your personal information is exposed, that most likely means that your current and previous passwords are also available somewhere online. Changing your password will definitely help in these cases. However, getting this personal information off the internet is vital to keeping you safe and secure.
A service like Wiperts keeps you continuously protected during the subscription period. Even if you can’t afford a long-term subscription, a short-term subscription may be enough to clean up your personal information off the internet. Removing the most obvious bits of information, say off Google’s search results, will make you much harder to target. Scammers target those who are easily found on Google and other data broking websites. Give Wiperts a try if you have been a victim of identity fraud or know someone who has been. It’s free to call and/or send an email. Wiperts is dedicated to keeping your personal information personal.