Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
A smartphone will be more secure than an open Wi-Fi spot if you know how to use it safely.
Do I understand correctly that I can safely use my smartphone, an iPhone 4S, to do most of what I want to do while traveling i.e. checking credit card accounts, paying bills, etc.? I'm supposing I need to download apps from each credit card company and my bank.
In this excerpt from Answercast #46, I look at how to use a smart phone connection safely while traveling.
The short answer is yes actually. A smartphone is usually a fairly good way to do exactly what it is you're looking to do.
If your bank or your credit card company offers an app, then that is typically the safest and smartest way to go – if that application actually supports all of the functionality that you're looking for. Some apps tend to be kind of bare bones when compared to the credit card or bank's native website.
That's the other side of the equation.
Most smartphones have a fairly powerful browser built into them already. There's nothing at all wrong with going to the https version of your credit card or bank's website, and in fact, it should be the https version...
In general, your cell phone connection is slightly more secure than an open Wi-Fi hotspot. In other words, it's much more difficult for somebody to actually eavesdrop in on what you're doing.
Most apps that try and do these kinds of things use encrypted connections as their means to connect back to their respective websites;
As long as you're connecting through the https version of a website, if you
happen to do it through the browser, you should be fine as well.
Next from Answercast 46 – What does it mean to tether a phone?
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