Help protect yourself and your information with these quick and easy tips.
Banks pride themselves on protecting their customers’ accounts and information, whether at a branch or using a mobile banking app. When banking on-the-go, there are things you can do for added security, like setting a four-digit pin or not logging in to your bank accounts using public Wi-Fi. Here are some helpful hints on what you can do to ensure safe mobile banking, according to www.discover.com.
With mobile banking, you can be sure your personal information and your accounts are safe
Protect your smartphone
Many people go to great lengths to protect information on desktop or laptop computers. They use anti-virus software, firewalls and more. A smartphone should be treated the same way. According to a survey by consumer reports, 34 per cent of people took no security measures to protect their smartphones at all.
There may not be many anti-virus apps you can download, but simply locking your phone after using it or logging out of your mobile banking app after a completed transaction can prevent unwarranted access to your accounts and information.
Many mobile users don’t know what steps to take to increase security for sensitive information, which is why some do nothing at all. Educating yourself on how to make your smartphone and the information it holds, more secure, is critical. Some of the precautions you can take include:
Using a four-digit PIN to lock your screen
Backing up your data
Using location-based software to find your lost phone
Installing an antivirus app
Installing software to erase the contents of a lost phone
If your smartphone is stolen, having a four digit lock code makes it harder for others to unlock it. Also, smartphones have other features that allow you to locate and remotely lock or erase data if you lose your phone. This is commonly referred to as a “kill switch.”
While most apps are safe, some may experience security vulnerabilities on occasion. Updating your apps to the latest version ensures that your phone maintains its security. Also, when downloading apps, only choose ones from publishers you trust.
Protect your information
We have discussed ways in which you can safeguard your smartphone, but what about your information in general? Consumers should be proactive and alert to protect their accounts when banking on a mobile device. Here are a few important ways to stay secure.
Create a strong password
When you log in to your account, use a strong password that includes numbers, letters and special characters, if allowed. More complex passwords will make it much more difficult for someone else to access your accounts.
Never log into your bank’s mobile website through a public Wi-Fi network.
Because public Wi-Fi does not have heightened levels of security, it is much safer to use your phone’s data network or a secured Wi-Fi network when accessing sensitive information.
Don’t save your usernames and passwords in your browser.
Some browsers give you the option to save your username and password. When you save that information, it could be very easy for someone to gain direct access to your bank account if your phone is lost or stolen.
Mobile banking can be a safe, secure way to bank from anywhere
Log out after use.
Even if you have not saved your credentials to a browser, it is still important to log out of your account when you are done banking on your mobile device.
By following a few simple guidelines, you can ensure your bank accounts are safe. Creating good passwords, securing your phone with a four-digit code and logging out of your accounts are all excellent ways to protect yourself. Safeguard your account information and phone so that you can continue to enjoy the convenience that comes with mobile banking.
According to investinganswers.com, mobile banking refers to the use of a smartphone or other cellular device to perform online banking tasks while away from your home computer, such as monitoring account balances, transferring funds between accounts, bill payment and locating an ATM.
How it works
Mobile banking typically operates across all major mobile providers in different countries through one of three ways: SMS messaging; mobile web; or applications developed for different phones.
Mobile text and alert is the simplest, allowing the user to transfer funds or access account information via text message. Texting terminology varies from bank to bank, but the overall function is generally the same. For example, texting “Bal” will obtain the account balance while “Tra” will allow inter-account transfers. Users need to first register and verify their phone numbers with their bank, but once that is completed, they can also set up alerts to let them know about negative balances or deposit confirmations.
Mobile web is the second mobile banking option. Similar to online account access from a home-based computer, this option allows for checking balances, bill payment and account transfers simply by logging into the user’s account via a mobile web browser.
Mobile banking applications for Android, iPhone and Blackberry, connect the user directly to the bank server for complete banking functionality without having to navigate a mobile web browser. These applications can be downloaded either through the bank’s website or through the iTunes store.
Consumers should also be aware that mobile banking poses certain identity theft concerns. While the transmission of data is encrypted across a secure network, hackers are always on the lookout for ways of accessing this information. Due diligence should be employed when relying on mobile banking, including close monitoring of your bank accounts, along with ensuring proper protection in the event that your mobile phone is lost or stolen.