This week, eBay and PayPal are partners of the National Cyber Security Awareness Week (NCSAW) taking place between June 12-15.
National Cyber Security Awareness Week is an Australian Government initiative, held annually in partnership with industry, community and consumer groups and state and territory governments. Awareness Week helps Australians understand cybersecurity risks as well as educating home and small business users on the simple steps they can take to protect their personal and financial information online.
As part of Awareness Week, PayPal released details of new research, which revealed one in six (16%) Australian smartphone users have lost, misplaced or had their phone stolen in the last year, but only 30 per cent remotely wiped their data after losing their smartphone and less than half (43%) changed their online passwords. Many Australians have not even set up a first line of defence for their smartphone as half (49%) of Australian smartphone users don’t use a passcode on their mobile device, according to the secure payments provider.
PayPal are calling for Australians to stay vigilant with their smartphones as they would their personal computers and wallets. Australians increasingly use smartphones to store a substantial amount of personal data, from bank statements to calendars to social networking profiles.
Prashanth Ranganathan, director of mobile security and risk at PayPal is in Australia this week in support of NCSAW, speaking to industry stakeholders about the need for consumer education as mobile payments becomes increasingly prevalent. While in Australia, Prashanth will participate in panel discussion at the Over the Horizons Forum on June 15. The panel topic is “Emerging users and uses in the digital world and the importance of responsible digital citizenship.”
Australians are keen to take advantage of the mobile convenience of smartphone technology, but according to PayPal’s research are not protecting themselves beyond the home. Smartphone owners were three times more likely to be more mindful of the security of their wallets than of their smartphones and one in three (36%) stay logged into mobile applications.
To help Australians safeguard their smartphones, PayPal and the Centre for Internet Safety have developed some top tips to help consumers better protect themselves while transacting on their smartphones:
- Set up your first line of defence – Enable a unique passcode so that your smartphone automatically locks when you’re not using it.
- Know who you’re transacting with – Use reputable mobile sites and applications. Look out for trust cues like the padlock symbol before entering your financial information.
- Watch out for duplicate applications – Cyber criminals take advantage of trusted brands by creating free applications that mimic the company’s official application. If you’re unsure, always download the application directly from the company’s website.
- Know how you’re connected – Use a secure network to transact online and watch out for people looking over your shoulder while using free Wi-Fi networks.
- Keep track of what you’re sharing – Be aware of the permissions your applications request from you. Review permission requests carefully and only share information that you are comfortable sharing.
- Don’t store sensitive data on your device – never store sensitive financial data on your smartphone.
If your smartphone is lost, stolen or misplaced, remember to:
- Remotely wipe your data – Enable this feature at purchase so that you can use it to your benefit if you lose your device.
- Periodically change your passwords – Change your online passwords frequently.
- Get help – Contact your provider or manufacturer and enquire about mobile tracking or whether they can disable your phone on your behalf.