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Five Tips for Safer Mobile Banking

by Norton_Team

Mobile banking is convenient, simple, fast and flexible – allowing us to access our accounts 24/7 and on the go. We can pay bills, move funds, buy stuff, check our account balance, deposit money and request emergency cash without even setting foot inside our bank’s physical building. With our smartphones and tablets, we can carry our virtual banks in our pockets wherever we go.

But along with this convenient money management comes added risk. Criminals previously had to physically break into banks directly to take our money. Now it’s easier for them to target us, the customers, instead – aiming to defraud us, steal our identities and siphon funds from our accounts.

If you use mobile banking, you need to protect both your phone and your financial information from hackers, identity thieves and malware. We’ll show you how to do this simply with these five tips for safer mobile banking.

First, some numbers

We’re rapidly turning to digital banking. According to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), internet and mobile banking transactions amount to almost £1billion a day. The BBA’s June 1014 report, It’s in Your Hands, showed that:

  • 77 per cent of consumers use mobile or online banking at least once a month.
  • Mobile and tablet banking apps have been downloaded more than 14.7 million times.
  • Mobile and internet banking transactions total £6.4 billion per week – up from £5.8 billion in the previous year.

We’re so keen to go mobile that, according to recent research from mobile payment service Zapp, 21 million British consumers say they’d switch banks if their own didn’t offer a mobile payment option and had no plans for one.

And last year the UK Payments Council, together with participating banks, set up a new mobile payment system called Paym that makes it easy for friends and family to transfer money by using mobile phone numbers instead of revealing bank account details.

Now for our top tips…

1. Protect your mobile device with security and tracking software

Install mobile security software and keep it updated. Don’t forget to install updates for your device operating system and banking app too as they become available. You’re more vulnerable to evolving threats if you have outdated versions of apps and software.

  • Back up your data so that you can recover it if necessary.
  • Get a theft tracker for your mobile device, so that if it’s lost or stolen you can locate it via GPS, remotely lock it and wipe your data.

2. Set PINs and passwords

Protect your phone/tablet with a strong password and set up a SIM card PIN so that it can’t be used in another device. (Don’t know how to set up a SIM PIN? Click here for iOS help. The process varies for different android devices, so contact your product manufacturer or vendor for advice.) Make sure you don’t use the same numbers as your ATM PIN.

Use strong passwords for your bank account login. If you need help creating a secure password, try Norton’s free Password Generator. Do not disclose your mobile banking password and PIN to anyone.

  • Don’t store account log-in details, any passwords or account numbers on your mobile device. Keep them safely stored elsewhere. In fact, don’t store any sensitive personal data on your device
  • If you’re recycling your phone or passing it on to someone, make sure you delete all such personal information first. 

3. Use only your bank’s official app

Verify that a banking app is official before you download and install it. If you have any doubts, check with your bank first. Using your bank’s app avoids the risk of you logging on to fake sites.

  • Remember to log out of the app or mobile site when you’ve finished.

4. Don’t fall for phishing bait

Beware of unsolicited texts or emails asking you to disclose your secure PIN, passwords or user names as they will probably be phishing attempts. Always tell your bank about any suspicious emails or texts you receive.

  • Don’t click on dubious links in emails or texts.
  • Never send financial information by unencrypted email.

5. Avoid risky WiFi

Don’t carry out sensitive and financial transactions using public WiFi or unknown networks. The open nature of public networks makes them vulnerable – you never know who may be poking around and watching what you’re doing online. Make sure you use a secure connection when making any financial transaction or communicating with your bank.

In addition, any compromised devices or USB keys that are connected to the local network could pass on malware to your mobile or tablet.

  • You can get around these issues by disabling WiFi on your device and using your cell network instead. It’s good practice anyway to turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them.

It all adds up to safer banking

In sum, there’s a lot you can do to keep your gadgets and financial data secure while making the most of mobile banking. If you stay alert and follow these five safety tips, you can enjoy the convenience of banking on the go as securely as possible. 

This entry was posted on Thu Sep 03, 2015 filed under mobile safety , online safety tips and online security

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