Smartphones: A Tool for Identity Theft Prevention and Target for Fraudsters
Communication has become an integral part of society, and technology advancements have made it easier to stay in touch. People today heavily rely on mobile devices such as PDAs, cell phones, and smartphones for communication, entertainment, accessing email, social media updates, and browsing. In the US, 88% of adults own or use a cell phone for communication and other purposes, out of which 46% own a smartphone. However, with increasing technology usage, identity theft and fraud have become more prevalent, and smartphones are no exception.
Smartphones as a Tool to Prevent Identity Theft and Fraud
With 46% of US adults owning smartphones, it’s high time that these gadgets became tools for preventing identity theft and fraud as well. For instance, banks can provide access codes to their customers that they would need along with their password/PIN for online transactions. The bank would send the access code through an SMS, which would be valid for one transaction only, and this measure can make hacking attempts challenging.
To make smartphones more reliable tools for identity theft prevention, an app like SecureID can be developed for smartphones. This app can generate unique passcodes similar to a device and can be conveniently accessible and available on your phone anytime and anywhere.
Smartphone Users are Also at Risk
While smartphones can be an excellent tool for identity theft prevention, they can also be vulnerable to fraudsters. A survey by Javelin Strategy & Research found that 7% of all smartphone users became victims of identity fraud in 2011. Attackers target smartphone users because they tend to be less cautious and often don’t install reliable anti-virus or anti-spyware software on their devices. Hackers can access phones via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections and steal personal and financial details from smartphone users.
Protecting Yourself by Protecting Your Smartphone
With cybercrime on the rise, it’s essential to protect the gadgets where you store your information. Turning off Bluetooth and avoiding public Wi-Fi connections are some simple ways to ensure the security of your phone. Additionally, setting up a password to protect your phone’s contents is vital to ensure that unauthorized access doesn’t occur. Newer smartphones facilitate fingerprint recognition and facial recognition software, which is an added layer of security.
Another critical factor is to be aware of the tactics used by fraudsters to phish for information. Legitimate banks and credit card companies will never ask for sensitive details over the phone, via text, or email messages. It’s also essential not to click on links sent via email or messages.
A New Level of Protection
Businesses have taken multiple measures to combat cybercrime, but these measures may not be enough to avoid these crimes entirely. With criminals becoming more aggressive, the need for innovative security measures is more evident than ever. Biometrics for an added layer of security during transactions is ideal, but having all cash registers and computers equipped with fingerprint scanners is not feasible yet.
Smartphones, on the other hand, can be used as an additional layer of security as they are accessible and widely used. They can act as a medium for the security app that generates random access codes. Banks and credit card companies can send unique passcodes to customers for transactions. Smartphones are multipurpose gadgets that can provide a new level of protection for online banking, shopping, and logins.
In conclusion, smartphones are excellent tools for communication, entertainment, and browsing. As the usage of these gadgets grows, cybercriminals are becoming more aggressive in their attempts to breach phone security. However, with a few precautions and the right apps, smartphones can also become a tool for identity theft prevention. Smartphones can provide a new level of protection for online banking, shopping, and social media logins, making it much more difficult for cybercriminals to target individuals.