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Online Security: The fears and the facts

November 29, 2018 12:00 pm Published by

With almost all of our financial affairs being conducted online, there is much at stake if the infrastructure protecting our money is compromised. News articles of security breaches across all industries are posted daily, so it’s no surprise that many people feel less than confident about online security. However, there are plenty of measures in place to protect you.  Here are some of the most common fears  – and the facts to reassure you!

Fear #1 – My wallets aren’t safe and could be easily hacked

Blockchain, the tech underpinning cryptocurrency, was designed to be inherently more secure than traditional currency, and particular attention has been paid to the security of crypto wallets. A wallet functions in a similar way to bank accounts, so owners can send and receive funds via the blockchain. They come in various forms, each with their advantages and disadvantages – you can read more about the different types of crypto wallets on our blog.

Fact: Keeping your money safe is one of our key focuses at Wirex, as is accessibility, which is why we use multisig mobile wallets. Combined with the existing safety assurances of the blockchain, our wallets incorporate a range of security measures to ensure the risk of theft is minimised.

A multisig security model requires more than one key (each stored in a different location) to authorise a payment. This gives you the peace of mind that if a hacker were to get hold of one key, it would not provide them with the permissions required to steal your funds. As a customer, you are also protected with a PCI DSS Level 1 certificate, which ensures fraud prevention, a secured network and secured wallets. For large amounts, we also use multi-level cold storage vaults with smart confirmation to make sure that your money is adequately safeguarded.

Fear #2 – My card’s been stolen, will my account get emptied?

The main concern around card use is the payment authentication process – the way in which a retailer verifies that the person attempting payment is authorised to do so. The first security feature to be introduced for debit and credit cards was in the 1970s; the magnetic stripe and signature verification was groundbreaking in its time. But the obvious security flaws – the ease at which cards could be cloned and signatures forged – soon became apparent.

The Europay Mastercard & Visa (EMV) standard was developed in the 1990s, to address this weakness. It implemented the electronic smart card system, as well as PIN verification, to increase card security. While this system is not infallible, it placed many more barriers in the way of would-be thieves.

Contactless is the latest tech to be incorporated into the EMV standard, allowing users to make purchases simply by tapping their card on a payment terminal. As a safeguard, individual contactless transactions are limited to £30 (in the UK).

Fact: Wirex is big on convenience but just as big on security and peace of mind. With the contactless Wirex Visa card, customers have the benefit of all three methods of payment verification. To protect you in case the card is misplaced or stolen, it can be temporarily blocked straight from the app – there’s no need to go through the hassle of contacting a support team. If the card is recovered, you can unblock it just as easily.

Fear #3 – Everyone seems to be getting hacked these days. Am I next?

From banking to shopping to cloud accounts, most of us have a significant amount of our personal information stored online. For the most part, these accounts are accessed via a username or email address and password. The problem is that’s not very secure, as many people choose passwords that aren’t complex enough, leaving accounts susceptible to hacking.

As a result, many service providers have introduced additional layers of security to address the issue of password vulnerability, including rules for password complexity when a user initially creates an account or wants to change their password. Two-factor authentication (2FA), which is just one of the features used in our app, is another layer. It requires users to log in with something they know and something they possess, such as their password and a 4-digit pin that is generated by the site and sent as a text message. It’s much more difficult for hackers to access both of these elements, thus providing additional safeguards for user accounts. Learn more about setting up 2FA on your Wirex account.

According to research by Telesign, 8/10 people are worried about their online security, but these measures significantly reduce your chances of being hacked. Understanding and using these should ease your online security worries – for example, 86% of people using 2FA feel their accounts are more secure.  With our comprehensive suite of security features, Wirex is here to help – so take advantage.  

Check out our blog and security page to learn more about what we do to keep your money safe.

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