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Social media has truly changed the way we live our lives. It allows us to enjoy convenient and instantaneous communication, share important moments in our lives with family and friends, and keep track of what’s happening in different parts of the world. And now, social media is also providing us with new ways to conduct financial transactions, too.
The concept of facilitating payments through social media is not new, and various software and apps offering these services have been getting the attention of Internet users as early as 2009. It’s only in recent years, though, that social media payments have begun to catch on among users – especially the millennial demographic – and are expected to grow more in popularity in the coming years.
Today, a lot of payment services are utilising social media’s structure and popularity to allow users to conduct transactions without leaving their social media pages. Facebook, for example, has a feature in its Messenger app allowing users to send money to their friends, which can be done by simply by entering the “$” sign and then typing in the amount that the user wishes to send.
Twitter and Pinterest also have their own social media transaction functionalities in the form of buy buttons, which allow users to sell products or services while browsing through their social media feed.
Another example of this is Venmo, which was launched in 2009 and acquired by PayPal in 2013. Venmo allows users to instantly send money to other users, and even lets others know that a user has made a transaction and what the transaction was for.
Snapchat also joined the fray in 2014 with the launch of Snapcash, allowing Snapchat to transfer money instantly to their users and pay for items directly to online merchants who carry Snapcash as one of their payment channels.
Pros and cons of social media payments
Using social media for payments provides a lot of advantages. With social media payments, users are able to conduct transactions quickly and easily because the process is instantaneous and takes only a few clicks. Additionally, social payments can be done anytime and anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.
But this trend is not without disadvantages. Social media payments are conducted over the Internet, which is rife with fraud and scams, and you risk being a victim of these when paying through social media. Also since, transactions are done online, your sensitive information (such as credit card numbers and passwords) are at risk of being compromised because of the presence of snoopers and hackers.
But don’t worry. There are many ways you can protect yourself from these malicious individuals when paying through social media, and one of them is by installing a virtual private network on your device. VPNs are a great way to keep your transactions protected, and can be installed at virtually no cost.
Hotspot Shield can protect you
Hotspot Shield is a free VPN that protects you from malicious individuals when conducting online activities, including social media payments. This free download app protects you by letting you browse online anonymously, hiding your information from malicious individuals and ensuring that your privacy is protected during your online sessions.
Activating Hotspot Shield when connecting to the Internet protects your sensitive data such as passwords and credit card transactions by providing a secure and encrypted tunnel for all your data. Additionally, when you connect to the Internet through public hotspots, Hotspot Shield protects you, your data and your device from other users connected to the same network.
Hotspot Shield also has other features that can provide you a better browsing experience, such as its unblock feature, which lets you bypass your network administrator’s restrictions; access to US-locked content by giving you a US IP address; and protection from malware attacks, which could also compromise your security and privacy.
With anonymous browsing, a secure and encrypted connection, and Wi-Fi security, among other benefits, installing Hotspot Shield on your device means you won’t have to worry about your online transactions being compromised. Best of all, it’s free!