Risks of Near Communication
Although near field communication appears to be the future of QR codes and also the future for a lot of payments methods and data transfer, there are a ton of risks involved. It's kind of like the problem of how people were buying scanners to steal other people's credit card information just by getting in close proximity to their wallets. This is one of the biggest issues. If everyone starts to carry all their credit card and banking information on their cell phones, it will become much easier for people to steal this information.
Although near field communication data exchange takes places when devices are within a few centimeters of one another, this does not completely protect consumers from having their information stolen. Eavesdropping can occur, which means a person can use an antenna to pick up wireless data transfer. People can also perform data modification on NFC devices which means they can delete information on a phone fairly easily. It is more difficult to just modify data, but it can still happen.
The fact that phones are mobile makes NFC a huge security issue. Many people easily misplace their phones and can lose them completely. Then anyone can pick up the phone and access any information that is stored in the phone. Also, people have become very casual with where they leave their phones, since mostly everyone has one. Even if left unattended for a short period of time, information can be stolen from the phone.
How Can You Protect Yourself:
- There are security apps you can download in case your phone gets stolen. These can password protecting your phone. Some apps will snap a picture of the person who is trying to access your phone without your permission, so if the phone is found, the picture will show who stole the phone. Some of these security apps also can send an alert to another mobile device or your email to let you know that your phone has been stolen. It can then use to GPS on your phone to give you a location.
- If you have any personal information on your phone, the best thing to do is password protect it and make sure your phone screen is locked when it is not in use.
- Wait for others to solve security issues. NFC is still progressing, and its creators are very much aware of the security issues involved in the technology. The Federal Trade Commission had articles on NFC security as well as many others involved in consumer protection. Mobile manufacturers are working to ensure that NFC capable phones have strong cryptography as well as authentication protocols.
Check out the following links for more information on NFC security: