Buying online or NFC


NFC (near-field communication) is used in credit cards, debit cards and all types of mobile devices for making payments – without having to swipe or otherwise hand over your card or device. Google Wallet is an example of the technology at work. You setup a Google Wallet account which is linked to a credit card account. When you move your device close to the payment device, the application debits your virtual wallet automatically.

Of course our local and online crooks are all over this already and have scanners that can pick up the signal and then they can hack the pin. NFC presents the same threat to your finances and identity that online purchases pose.

If you have an application such as Wallet on your device ā€“ always set a PIN to prevent access to your device. Google Wallet also has a PIN assigned to the application separate from your device PIN.

Always assume that nothing is secure and work from that premise. In the instance of online purchases with debit cards or accounts linked to NFC payment applications ā€“ always use a separate account for purchases and payments. Move the funds from another location into the online/NFC account (keeping the minimum amount of funds in the account as necessary to make payments).

This may help your budgeting as well, as the extra step to move the money may make your reconsider if you really need the gold plated marshmallow gun after all.