“When you whip out your smartphone to transfer money, deposit a check, or “tap” it on an electric reader to buy milk at your local 7-Eleven, do you ever wonder how secure it is?

The good news is, using your phone as a “mobile wallet” is largely considered safe. In fact, some experts argue the security of mobile payments is on par with online banking, with the added layer of password protection.

But that isn’t a license to throw caution to the wind. A February report by McAfee (which sells anti-virus software) found a whopping 20 million new pieces of “malware” — aka: malicious software — in 2010, a trend expected to surge in 2011 as cyber criminals catch up with the latest mobile technologies.”

From Reuters