Adding cash to your Venmo account is easy and can help you pay for things you need right away. Here's how:
Tens of millions of people use platforms such as PayPal's Venmo and Square's Cash App to send money directly from their bank accounts to friends, family, and merchants. While these platforms are convenient, they also pose security risks due to their combination of finance and social media.Users can also be targets for hackers looking to drain financial accounts.nbsp;Don't worry, there are plenty of ways for you to secure your Venmo and Cash App accounts with a few simple settings changes and privacy best practices.nbsp;Here's what you should do.
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Basic privacy protection tips for Venmo and Cash App
Both payment apps use encryption and fraud detection technology to protect account information, but you should take a few extra precautions to ensure your safety.
Use a randomly generated password
We know you're sick of hearing how important it is to use unique, difficult-to-guess passwords for each account, but it's still true, especially when money is involved.One simple way to accomplish this is to use a password manager. Our favorites, including LastPass, 1Password, and Bitwarden, provide a free tier of service that includes all of the essentials: password storage, strong and secure password generation, and autofill capabilities.unique, hard-to-guess passwords for every account. But it's still true, especially when your money's involved. One easy way to do this is to use a password manager. Our favorites -- including LastPass, 1Password and Bitwarden -- offer a free tier of service with all of the basics: password storage, strong and secure password generation and autofill capabilities.
A password manager can aid in the security of your Venmo and Cash App accounts. Angela Lang/CNETAngela Lang/CNET
Watch out for common scams
Criminals target users of apps like Venmo and PayPal in a variety of ways, including posing as Venmo and Cash App support staff, calling or texting users, "helping" them change their passwords, and then draining their accounts.nbsp;
Scammer landlords have asked prospective renters for a deposit before giving apartment tours, and scammer pet owners have used a similar bait-and-switch, offering purebred animals at ridiculously low prices, demanding advance payment, and then disappearing.These kinds of disasters abound on Cash App's support page.
According to the app's security support page, "nobody at Venmo will ever contact you to request a password or verification code to your account." The same is true for Cash App.
If you become a victim of a scam on either app, you should contact or use the resources available on Cash App's website.
Avoid using banking apps while connected to public Wi-Fi (or invest in a VPN).
Logging into a financial app on any public Wi-Fi network, such as one at a hotel, airport, or coffee shop, can allow malicious actors to break into your account, as has happened in the past with cash-sharing apps.
If you absolutely must access your account and are unable to use a reliable network, we recommend using a VPN to hide your activity from prying eyes.nbsp;Here's how to set up a VPN on your iPhone or Android as well as our list of the best VPNs of 2021.VPN to hide your activity from spying eyes. Here's how to set up a VPN on your iPhone or Android and our list of the best VPNs of 2021.
Using a VPN while using public Wi-Fi is a good way to protect yourself when using any finance app.nbsp; Sarah Tew/CNETSarah Tew/CNET
Never send money to someone you don't know.
Avoid using Venmo and Cash App to send payments to people you don't know and trust; neither app is currently optimized for buying or selling goods or services, though Venmo is working on a business profiles feature to make retail and commercial sales more secure.If you're a vendor thinking about using Cash App, you should first set up a business account with Square Payments.Square Payments.
Read more: 6 Best Payment Apps6 Best Payment Apps
Make sure that all of your Venmo transactions are private.
When you create a Venmo account, all of your transactions are public by default, which means anyone on the internet can see exactly what you're sending and to whom.This open record has been used to determine everything from who won The Bachelor before a season aired to a recent alleged political sex trafficking investigation.nbsp;
To make all of your transactions private by default, open the Venmo app and tap the three lines in the upper right corner to access the menu.Tap Settings > Privacy, and then tap Private under Default Privacy Setting; now, all future payments will be visible only to you and the recipient.nbsp;Settings > Privacy, and under Default Privacy Setting, tap Private. Now all of your future payments will only be visible to you and the recipient.
On the same Privacy page, under More, tap Past Transactions to change the privacy settings for previous transactions.Change to Friends or Change All to Private will be available.Past Transactions. You'll see the option to Change to Friends, or Change All to Private.
One advantage of the Cash App is that all transactions are private by default.nbsp;
Anyone can see your Venmo transactions if you do not make them private.Venmo
Turn on two-factor authentication
When you sign in on a new device, Venmo will send a code to the phone number associated with your account, which you must enter correctly in order to access your account.nbsp; is a solid way to add another layer of security to your account. When you sign in on a new device, Venmo will send a code to the phone number registered with your account, that you'll need to enter correctly to access your account.
To enable two-factor authentication on Venmo, open the app and tap the three lines in the upper right corner for the menu. Tap Settings, and then tap Remembered Devices under security.You'll see the device you're currently using, as well as possibly others you've used in the past, and you won't need to enter a verification code when you sign on with any of the devices on your list.Swipe left and tap Delete to remove any of the devices; to enable two-factor authentication on all devices, delete them all from this list.nbsp;Settings, and under security, tap Remembered Devices. You'll see the device you're currently using, and possibly others you've used in the past. When you sign on with any of the devices on your list, you won't need to enter a verification code. To remove any of the devices, swipe left and tap Delete. If you want to enable two-factor authentication on all devices, you can delete them all from this list.
When you sign into your Cash App account on a new device, you'll be sent a one-time login code, and the app recommends adding two-factor authentication to your email account associated with the app for added security.nbsp;
Set up Face ID or a pin code.
Enabling Face ID or a pin increases the security of your account when you open the app or make a transaction.nbsp;
You can configure Venmo so that every time you open the app, you must enter either your Face ID (or fingerprint scan depending on device) or your pin. To begin, tap the three lines in the upper right corner for the menu.Under security, tap Face ID & PIN, and then tap the toggle to Enable Face ID & PIN.The app will prompt you to enter a new passcode, and if you're using an iPhone, a pop-up notification will appear asking if you want Venmo to use Face ID to unlock your account. Tap OK.If you're using an Android phone, you might see PIN code & biometric unlock.nbsp;Settings, and under security, tap Face ID & PIN. Tap the toggle to Enable Face ID & PIN. The app will prompt you to enter a new passcode, and, if you're on an iPhone, you'll get a pop up notification asking if you'd like to allow Venmo to use Face ID to unlock your account. Tap OK. If you're on an Android phone, it may say PIN code & biometric unlock.
To set up a security lock that requires your Face ID, Touch ID, or a pin to transfer funds on Cash App, tap your profile icon in the top right corner.Tap Privacy & Security, then Security Lock. The app will prompt you to enter a pin, followed by your email address to confirm your selection with a code.nbsp;Privacy & Security, and under Security, toggle on Security Lock. The app will prompt you to enter a pin, and then enter your email address to confirm your selection with a code.
Setting up a pin or biometric login can help to secure your accounts.Brett Pearce/CNET
Turn on payment send notifications
Turning on notifications will notify you of any unauthorized activity on your Venmo or Cash App accounts.nbsp;
Go to Settings > Notifications on Venmo and select between push, text, and email notifications.Turning on at least the payment sent notification is a good way to get an immediate alert of anyone else sending money through your account.nbsp;Settings > Notifications. Choose from push, text or email notifications. Under Push notifications, you can toggle on and off notifications for bank transfers, payment received, payment sent and lots more. Turning on at least the payment sent notification is a good way to get an immediate alert of anyone else sending money through your account.
On Cash App, tap your profile icon, then Notifications, to enable text or email push notifications.nbsp;Notifications. Tap to turn on push notifications by text or email.
Consider linking to a credit card rather than a bank account.nbsp;
Though you can link a checking or savings account to Venmo, it's more secure to link it to a credit card, which, while incurring a 3% transaction fee, has much stronger theft and fraud protection than a traditional bank account.nbsp;
To change your Venmo payment method, go to Settings > Payment methods, then tap Add bank or card, then Card, and enter your credit card information.nbsp;Settings > Payment methods, and tap Add bank or card. Then tap Card, and enter your credit card information.
Before you can enter a credit card on Cash App, you must first enter your bank account information; however, you can sign up for a free Cash Card debit card, which allows you to use funds sent to you through the app on the card.nbsp;
For more information, see the best checking accounts, best savings accounts, and best credit monitoring services.nbsp;best checking accounts, best savings accounts and best credit monitoring services.
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