How Secure is NFC Technology ? Lets find out.
NFC (Near Field Communication) has been around for a while, but it’s still an underrated technology. I remember 2 years ago when I first heard about NFC, I was glad to see it in every smartphone.
Related: NFC Technology: What You Should Know About It
Unfortunately, NFC didn’t get the speed it needed. One of the main reasons may be a lack of knowledge on our part. There are many misconceptions about NFC. So, in this article, I will talk a little about NFC security.
What is NFC
NFC is similar to Bluetooth and WiFi technology, which uses radio communications to transmit data. But in addition to data transfer, you can also make a payment from your mobile phone using NFC technology.
This is why mobile phones are often referred to as e-wallets. NFC allows you to pay from your phone. No need to carry a wallet with you.
But given the rise in cybercrime and credit card fraud, the first question that pops into our head is: Is it really safe to use NFC payments?
The answer to this is:
Yes, NFC is safe !! And here are 5 reasons to support him.
1. NFC range
NFC is unique in that it requires two devices to work very close to each other. How close? In theory, they say that it is 10 cm or less, but in practice it is only 4 cm.
Isn’t it uncomfortable close? Can you imagine someone bringing their hacking tool (like an NFC reader) a few cm closer, but you still can’t suspect it! I do not think so.
2. NFC works only when the device is unlocked
Suppose a hacker manages to get close to you. And you didn’t know it. But then again, your smartphone must be unlocked for NFC to work. What are the chances of leaving your smartphone unlocked when not in use? People don’t.
Moreover, it is unlikely that a hacker will be able to unlock your smartphone without taking it from you. But let’s just say they succeeded. What now.
3. NFC Payment requires a secure component
To make mobile payments from an NFC-enabled smartphone, the device must have special equipment called the Secure Element. It stores data such as account number, expiration date, etc., in a safe from.
The Secure Element is a tamper-proof platform that can securely host applications and their sensitive and cryptographic data in accordance with security rules and requirements established by a set of well-defined trusted authorities.
The protected item remains isolated from main memory, so limited predefined applications can access it. So even if a hacker gains access to your smartphones. It is extremely difficult to get your financial data as it is encrypted in this secure element.
4. Two-way authentication using a PIN
To make mobile payments using NFC, you need an app such as Google Wallet. Such an application has its own authentication method. Firstly, you need to unlock it using a preset lock code, and secondly, in order to make a transaction over a certain limit (say $ 80), you must enter the PIN that was provided to you when you installed this application.
And best of all, it’s a contactless card, otherwise your smartphones won’t store a PIN in them. This way, even if a hacker somehow manages to get your credit card details, they won’t have a PIN to complete a larger transaction. This will ensure that you are insured against a greater loss.
Moreover, if someone can steal your smartphone / contactless card, they can also steal money from your pocket.
5. Smart Tags can be made read-only
NFC security isn’t limited to mobile payments. Another popular use for NFC is smart tags (or NFC tags). This brings us to the question how secure are NFC tags ?
By default, NFC tags can be overwritten. But you can make them read-only. This will ensure that others cannot contain it.
For example, if you want NFC tags to always open a link to your website, you can make it read-only. To prevent others from changing the information written on it. Useful for public use of NFC tags.
The future of mobile payments
This question reminds me of a time when credit / debit cards were first introduced. People were skeptical about its use. People question his safety and predict that it won’t work. And now we use a plastic card almost every day. It’s the same with NFC, people question its safety, but seeing its benefits, they will take advantage of it in the future.
NFC is as secure as your credit and debit card. However, if someone wants to get something bad, they can do their best to get it. The only thing you can do is make it harder for them. So until it gets personal, they’ll leave you and move on to some easy goal.
Update your knowledge and improve your security. If you can do that, then there is no need to worry when using mobile payments.