Security recommendations when using a Smartphone: Secure Shopping.13 April 2012
A Smartphone is a device that combines the possibilities of a computer with those of a telephone. This has led to spectacular growth in the use of these devices which, when combined with the possibility of going on line using Wi-Fi or a mobile network, allows users to do their banking on line, a practice which is also increasing considerably.
The threats (opens in a new window) to which these devices are open when making Internet transactions are the same as for a desktop or laptop computer, with one important difference: the user is not as aware of possible problems as they are with computers.
To ensure transactions are carried out securely (opens in a new window), such as online shopping and online banking, you must take a series of precautions such as:
- Make sure the operating system and any applications installed are the latest versions.
- Install antimalware (opens in a new window) on the device.
- Because various different passwords will be used, you should use a password management programme (opens in a new window) so they do not have to be stored in a text file.
- If possible, make sure you install the most secure browser possible.
- Install the relevant applications for online banking and other online services.
- Type the URL address of the pages you are viewing, or use previously stored «Favourites» but never use links you receive via e-mail, SMS or MMS.
- Make sure that communications are encrypted (opens in a new window) when sensitive data are being sent.
- Limit the use of public Wi-Fi, even if they have a password, and ALWAYS avoid using open Wi-Fi networks for these kinds of operations. Whenever possible, go online using 3G.
- Use trusted payment methods (PayPal, Visa, etc.)
The recommendations (opens in a new window) are basically the same as when accessing these kinds of services through any computer, with the additional guidelines regarding Wi-Fi networks. This is because, although we are using a different device to access the Internet, the risks are the same.
Related article on the OSI website: Shopping securely on your mobile. (in Spanish)