CurrentC is a mobile payment system slated for release in 2015 that is meant to compete with Google Wallet and Apple Pay. On October 30, Merchants Customer Exchange (MCX), which is the organization behind the smartphone app, informed its beta testers that their database had been hacked and that users’ email addresses had been compromised. Unlike Google Wallet and Apple Pay, CurrentC uses a completely different system that uses QR codes instead of NFC to make financial transactions. It also does not allow you to pay using a credit card and instead links directly to your checking account. The system is being backed by many retail giants since it would allow them to avoid paying for credit card transaction fees. Although no financial information had been leaked during this breach, this is still a huge cause for concern for many people since CurrentC requires for you to enter in your bank account information and social security number. It also does not help that Kmart, Lowe’s, Target, and several other companies that are members of MCX have already experienced data breaches of their own over this past year.
Since 2011, Google’s smartphone operating system, Android, has given users the option to encrypt the data on their devices. Encrypting your Android device prevents anyone without your set password from reading the information stored on your device if they manage to break in or intercept any data. Very few people know about the existence of this feature, and fewer still even enable it. However, Google recently announced that their next, upcoming version of Android, currently known as Android L, will have this feature enabled by default. This announcement came shortly after Apple’s announcement that they would be expanding security for its iCould storage system, which was recently breached and resulted in several nude photos of various celebrities being leaked. The moves made by both companies help to ensure the protection of the privacy of their users. Slated to be released in October, Android L will require users to create a password during the activation process in order to automatically set up device encryption before any data can be accessed. This means that users will no longer have to worry about any of their information, pictures, videos, communication, and any other data becoming exposed to those with malicious intent, and they also will not have to think about remembering to turn on this feature.