If you have a bank account, you have most likely dipped your toe into the mobile banking pool. A Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) survey reports that nearly half of people with smartphones are using mobile banking, more than double since 2011. Whether you are simply accessing your bank’s website to check your balance, or possibly using your bank’s mobile app to do more involved financial transactions like deposit a check or transfer money, if you’re banking through your mobile device, you should be taking steps to make sure your transactions are safe and secure. To help you feel confident that your transactions are secure, here are six dos and don’ts of mobile banking.
1. DO take extra security measures with mobile apps
It goes without saying that you should password protect your phone itself, but also opt-in to any extra security measures that your mobile banking app offers. While an extra step such as one-time verification of any new devices may seem cumbersome, putting them in place can help protect your information. For example, the Capital One mobile app allows you to require extra security measures like Touch ID.
2. DON’T use public Wi-Fi
When mobile banking, or really when conducting any personal business on your mobile device, avoid using an unsecured wireless network. Unsecured Wi-Fi is particularly susceptible to what’s called a “man-in-the middle attack,” where hackers intercept information going from a mobile device to a public network.
3. DO sign up for transaction alerts
Sign up for alerts when your bank detects suspicious activity. Getting a message or call at the moment someone accesses your account in an unusual manner can help you to pinpoint illegal activity as it happens and shut down your account instantaneously. Additionally, regularly check your balance to catch anything suspicious.
4. DON’T open unverified messages from your bank or anyone else
Never answer emails claiming to be from your bank or government that ask for sensitive information like your Social Security Number, account number or PIN. Likewise, do not open files or click on links from unknown or suspicious sources. Scammers often use these links and files to install malware on your device, which will then allow them to access your banking app. You can check the safety of a link through a service like Scanurl.
5. DO get a phone with built-in security features
As vigilant as you can be on your own, it helps to have a phone with the fastest mobile processor and built-in security features. For example, phones that use a Snapdragon mobile processor come with Qualcomm Haven security with hardware-based malware detection, biometric authentication and remote lock and unlock. Using a device with this technology provides extra security features for added protection and peace of mind.
6. DON’T store financial information on your phone
While it can seem convenient to have your financial information, like account numbers, passwords and pin numbers in a note on your phone, this also leaves you susceptible to identity theft. If your phone is stolen or lost, and is unlocked, you don’t want your sensitive information so readily available.
Mobile banking is an easy, convenient way to bank — it’s no wonder that almost 50 percent of smartphone users are doing it. Mobile banking can also be a secure way to bank, so long as you remember to opt-in to security measures, not use public Wi-Fi, do sign up for transaction alerts, don’t open suspicious links, do get a phone with built-in security features and don’t store sensitive information on your phone.