Mobile Payments Users: How to Stage a “Digital Spring Cleaning”

April 20, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

So it’s technically been spring for about a month now, though based on the temperatures in a lot of places you’d never know it from looking outside. That’s got some thinking spring cleaning, and new word from the National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) sent our way details how you can conduct a digital spring cleaning as well which will help improve your devices’ security and keep you safe too.

Much of what the NCSA recommends will likely sound familiar. Watching accounts is particularly noted, but not without reason; despite it being a frequently-issued instruction, it’s not being heeded very well. Since the latest data breach, apparently fewer than half of Americans have even checked their credit reports.

Other points likely seem less risky but no less smart: update all software on internet-connected devices to ensure the latest patches and updates are in place and consider the use of more powerful security measures like two-factor authentication or biometrics. Some are less familiar; the NCSA recommends users delete apps that aren’t used any more to help improve overall operation on mobile devices. Also engage in offline backups, and even go so far as to clean out your email inbox.

The Council of Better Business Bureaus chief security officer Bill Fanelli pointed out that over 47,000 reports were filed with the Better Business Bureau’s BBB Scam Tracker system, a figure that proves there’s a lot of potential and real scams alike out there and waiting.

Mobile payments aren’t much different here; we all know by now that security has been one of the biggest issues that keep people out of mobile payments, so when we as users can take action to help protect ourselves, it’s worth looking into. The NCSA’s suggestions, meanwhile, tend more toward the obvious or ludicrous; for example, most credit report monitoring services require the user to input a Social Security number online, which might well be the biggest item on the “don’t” list of online operations.

Still, much of this is a good reminder, and the kind of thing we can all take more seriously. Spring is a good time to clean house, and our online accounts could probably stand a bit of sprucing too.