Sending Money as an Email Attachment Using Google Wallet: Is it Safe?

In the near future, Google Wallet users will be able to link their accounts to their Gmail accounts and attach a dollar amount to send along with the email just like you would attach a photo or file today.

While many exciting announcements were made at Google I/O, one of them stuck out to us. In the near future, Google Wallet users will be able to link their accounts to their Gmail accounts and attach a dollar amount to send along with the email, just like you would attach a photo or file today.

google walletThe new “money as an attachment” feature is free for users with bank accounts linked to their Google Wallets, as well as to users with prepaid Google Wallet accounts. There will, however, be a charge for sending money from a credit or debit card.

Is it safe?

The ability to send money as an email attachment is just one more step towards the possibility of a completely paperless world, but it also raises concerns about security.

While we receipt fanatics here at Shoeboxed are excited to see what the receipt for sending money will look like, we are also concerned about the risk of sending money via email. After all, it would only take someone hacking your Gmail account to also hack your bank account!

Remember when over 400,000 usernames and passwords were stolen from Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and more last summer? It’s just a reminder that no site is completely secure– not even tech behemoths like Google. If someone were to access your account, they could start emailing money to themselves in just a few clicks! However, we are confident that the geniuses over at Google will come up with safeguards for its users and will be interested to see how those shape up.

Why would you use this?

We are certainly thrilled that this feature removes another piece of the paper puzzle from today’s daily life! Instead of stopping by the ATM to get cash so you can reimburse your friend for last week’s lunch when you forgot your wallet, just open your Gmail, attach the dollar amount to the email and press send! You’ll also have a digital trail of the money, which is always great when you’re watching your budget or tracking business expenses.

Do you already use Google Wallet, or do you plan to sign up because of this new feature? Do you think you’ll try sending money as an attachment when it’s available? Let us know in the comments!

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Identity Theft Increases During Holiday Season

DURHAM, NC — No organization publishes comprehensive information about how many people have their personal information stolen each year, though some estimates place the number at more than 8 million in the United States alone. With the holiday season in full swing and the economy taking a turn for the worse, identity theft is expecting to increase this year.

“ID theft is obviously a threat any time of the year,” said Gail Cunningham of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling to the Poughkeepsie Journal. “But particularly during the holidays, thieves and crooks come out from under their rocks to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.”

With the risk of identity theft in mind, it is smart to take a few basic precautions this holiday season, many experts say. A few tips to remember:

  • When shopping online, look for symbols that denote the website is using SSL security technology, that your browser displays a padlock symbol in the bottom of the window or in the URL address bar. Also, look for other symbols that denote a trustworthy site like TRUSTe, Verisign, The Better Business Bureau, and McAfee Secure.
  • Make sure your credit cards are safe in one place and that you always know where they are.
  • Keep your receipts in a safe place. Leaving them in your car or on your desk can give thieves access to information that can be helpful to thieves. Send them to Shoeboxed for safe keeping.
  • Be wary this busy holiday season of people peering over your shoulder at crowded checkouts when you enter in your PIN for your debit cards. Using a busy aisle as an excuse to get close, they may be trying to steal your PIN.

How Not to Commit Identity Theft

Nobody likes an identity thief; that’s for sure. Everybody loves to see an identity thief go down in flames, but pretending you are someone else to steal money has been an increasingly common crime over the last ten years. Thankfully, we have all become more aware of common scams, and we know more ways to protect ourselves. Reporting lost credit cards, shredding all sensitive documents, and keeping your computer secure are just some of the simple protections that everyone should be doing.

One thing that continues to surprise me is how often criminals try to use other people’s credit cards. It’s not a particularly easy thing to pull off, as you leave a digital trail of all your activities; After a while, the cops won’t have any problem finding you.

But some criminals aren’t even smart enough to let the cops catch up to them. A man in Iowa City recently signed his own name on one of the credit card receipts he got after using a stolen credit card. Being an identity theft is stupid, but giving away your real identity while you’re doing it is another story.

Shoeboxed, which is certified by McAfee and TRUSTe as having taken all necessary precautions to keep your receipts safe and secure on Shoeboxed, is a safe place to store your receipts and other financial documents. To learn more about our extensive privacy practices, head on over to our security page.