Is Mobile Banking Safe?

Written by , April 16, 2012

Is Mobile Banking SafePersonal financial security is in the front of many people’s minds these days, and with good reason. If you’ve ever had your credit card or debit card number compromised, then you know how much time and effort it can take to restore whatever funds were taken from your accounts. In some cases, it can take months or even years to clear up the damage that a compromised account may have caused to your credit reports.

Today there are an increasing number of ways that we need to be vigilant in protecting our financial information. For example, as more of us access our banking, checking and brokerage accounts through our smart phones and other mobile devices, we need to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep those mobile banking transactions safe.

Here is some banking advice on how to ensure that your use of mobile banking is safe.

  • Check the Security of Your Apps. The first thing to check is the security of the applications you’re using for mobile banking. If possible, try to use only the official apps of your banking or financial institution to access your account; these are generally more secure than third party apps designed to access multiple accounts.
  • How are you Accessing Your Account? Keep in mind that the security of your transactions will depend not only on the security of the application you are using to access your account, but also the way that you connect to the Internet. Using an unsecured public Internet connection, for example, puts you at risk because someone can relatively easily “listen in” to your web session (by using a laptop computer and special type of modem) and potentially come away with your account numbers and passwords.
  • Be on Guard Against Phishing. Believe it or not, one of the ways that some people have their financial accounts compromised is by giving the thieves their usernames and passwords. This can occur through a process known as “phishing.” A phishing scam is where a criminal sends you an email that appears to be from your bank or brokerage, usually asking you to log in to your account to update some piece of information. The email has a link that takes the customer to an account that looks like the genuine site, but which is actually an imposter site under the control of the criminal. As soon as the customer logs in, the criminal has the ability to log into the customer’s account and start draining it.
  • Protect Your Mobile Device. Finally, don’t forget perhaps the most important element of safe mobile banking; protecting your mobile device itself. Think of what could happen if a thief got hold of your device. Unless your device has a strong password, and the mobile banking apps you use require you to enter a password each time, someone could directly access your accounts directly through your device.
  • Mobile banking can be safe, but you need to do your part to make it so. Follow the guidelines above to help keep your financial accounts secure.

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