Do you participate in any of these time saving, convenient, technology-based activities?
• Online shopping
• Online banking
• Use of smartphone mobile apps
Communication via Technology:
• Instant messaging to chat with friends and family
• Texting as a quick and easy way of communicating
• Connecting with friends and family online via social media channels
• Voice commanding your smart phone or built-in vehicle GPS to call someone rather than taking the time and effort to type in a phone number or looking at a map
Many of these modern digital conveniences make our lives easier, speed up communication and help us as customers, consumers and business owners. For those of you who are into new, tech-savvy, time saving, convenient ways to purchase goods and services, there are some new products on the market that you may be interested in.
Just recently Google introduced a handy shopping tool called Google Wallet, which saves time and money while shopping. Google Wallet describes the device as a “smart, virtual wallet that stores your payment cards, offers, and more on your phone and online.” On a similar note, the online payments system PayPal has come out with PayPal Here, which according to PayPal is a new “global mobile payment solution that allows small businesses to accept almost any form of payment.”
Smartphone apps such as these are convenient as they keep all of your account information and credit cards in one place, on your smartphone, which will in turn, save you time and hassle. These new methods of storing information for making payments are more convenient and save you from looking up bank account information or the need to pull out various credit cards to make a purchase. And for businesses in regards to PayPal Here, PayPal states that the app will allow you to accept credit and debit cards, PayPal and checks – anywhere you do business. Although an attractive option, it does not come without a cost…you are more susceptible to identity theft.
So, if you plan on using either of these new methods of digital convenience, take note of some identity protection tips from itbusinessedge.com, “Seven Tips to Protect Your Google Wallet:”
1. Password protect your smart phone
2. Read the fine print before signing any agreement, even new electronic payment agreements
3. Optimize credit card use: Whether you are paying with an actual credit card or you have “an app for that,” paying with a credit card will provide more identity protection than debit cards, pre-paid cards, or cash.
4. Take caution: Don’t share your personal identity information (SSN, account information, passwords, etc.) unless it’s absolutely necessary.
5. E-backups: Make sure you have hard copies of all your personal identity information in a safe place. Some identity protection services have e-wallet features, which is a secure place to keep personal identity information online as well.
6. Check your account activity regularly and often: Make sure all the transactions reported on were made by you. If you find any suspicious activity, immediately contact the card issuer to dispute the charge.
7. Telephone numbers, know them: In case your digital wallet is stolen, make sure you know the number of your wireless provider so that you can call and cancel the service, report a theft, and what steps to take.
Another good way to safe guard your smartphone is by enabling tracking devices such as Apple iCloud’s Location Services settings. For more information, read our previous blog post, “Tracking a Stolen iPhone to Prevent Identity Theft”
Optio Solutions is well aware of the dangers and problems related to identity theft for consumers and small businesses in our modern, tech savvy times. We understand that people are more susceptible to identity thieves, and there is an urgent need to protect ourselves. To read more on how to protect yourself from identity theft, off-line and online, please download our whitepaper, “Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft.”