Keep it Safe
The need to be cognizant and always aware about how and where you release personal information is critical these days. Being too relaxed about how you dispense personal information can result in detrimental incidents such as account hacking, unauthorized charges, recurring changes or even identity theft.
One of the reasons why incidents are on the rise is the increased use of cell phones and smart phones. Personal information for banking, buying goods and services and paying bills on our phones make theft easy. You can take a few precautions to help ensure your personal information remains safe and secure.
Know the vendor before buying
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to be aware of which vendor and site you are purchasing through. You should see an encrypted web address come up when you begin a checkout process or there should be clearly labeled sections of the web site ensuring your personal information is being protected. You need to avoid unknown vendors and opt not to enter credit card or any personal information in through your phone's browser. By sticking with known and trusted vendors, you will have a better chance at being able to enjoy a safe online transaction.
Only buy through trusted app stores
The ability to download apps for stores and banks makes the ability to bank and buy through your phone easy and simple. This is one way to have a greater level of security in place compared to accessing sites through a browser which may have security flaws. You need to make sure that the apps for each vendor you frequent are downloaded and installed correctly; including all security updates which are available.
You also should be aware that free apps which request personal information may not be safe. Verify all apps requesting or requiring such information before installing on your phone and verify security settings for the app itself.
Make sure app purchases are charged by your carrier
The ability to buy apps directly from your phone is another way in which some people could be giving our personal information to unknown sources. One way to protect yourself is to shop for apps which cost money only through app stores made available by your cell carrier. This can help you gain better control on who is receiving your personal information and credit card details. This is also important as some apps have the inherent ability to read your personal information on your phone, and thus you need to have had that information disclosed up front which is handled through the app vendor.
Double check all credit card and banking statements
Even when you take steps and measures to make your online and cell based transactions safe and secure, you still need to remain vigilant about always double checking your banking and credit card statements. Even after the initial charge appears and is correct, you need to continually monitor your statements as some services and apps come with recurring charges which you may not have been aware of.
By paying close attention to all transactions and billings, you can stave off high fees associated with racking up large amounts of charges you either did not authorized or were unaware of agreeing to in the first place. When you learn how to better use your cell phone or smart phone for banking, buying items or ordering things; you will be better prepared in knowing which sites are reliable and trustworthy enough for you to release information to without having to worry.