Mobile banking has exploded in recent years. According to an Ipsos-Forbes Advisor survey, 76 percent of respondents used an app for mobile banking within the last year. Mobile banking offers a convenient way to track spending and create a budget. Better yet, you can sync other mobile apps to integrate with your mobile banking application to enjoy a seamless, centralized experience.
Although the benefits of mobile banking are clear, users must also consider potential security risks. While hackers find more sophisticated ways to gain access, users must also equip themselves with the knowledge to stave off security attacks of all types.
We’ve highlighted five key strategies you can use to keep your account safe. Enjoy the benefits of mobile banking without the added stress by taking these precautionary measures.
1. Protect your mobile device with a password.
It’s the simplest, most direct way to protect yourself and your personal information: Make sure your phone is password protected. Yet many people overlook or dismiss this simple fix. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, 28 percent of people didn’t use security measures to access their smartphones. Glossing over this quick safety measure could cost you big in the long run.
Don’t make this mistake. Make sure your phone is properly locked so that if it gets lost or stolen, your personal information is safe. First, set up a four-digit PIN to lock your phone screen. Many tech experts recommend using the finger unlock feature over a PIN when possible since biometrics are more difficult to replicate.
Next, make sure that when you’re not actively using your mobile banking app that your phone is locked so that if it does get stolen, your account information does not become vulnerable. In the event that your phone is stolen or lost, use location-based software to locate it. Lastly, install antivirus apps and back up your data so that your account information is less susceptible to hacking.
2. Create a strong password.
When it comes to protecting your bank account, take the time to create a strong password. Predictable passwords are easy to hack. Create a password that incorporates a random series of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols (as software allows).
Most importantly, don’t repeat passwords you use for other accounts. Duplicate passwords put all of your accounts at risk. Similarly, don’t store passwords, PINs, or security questions and answers on your device, and use two-factor or multifactor authentication when possible. If you’re concerned about remembering and keeping track of passwords, use a password management platform such as LastPass to store all of your login details across all accounts in one place.
3. Don’t log in with public Wi-Fi.
We spend more time on the go than we ever have before. Post-lockdown, many of us continue to work remotely too. While it can be tempting to pop into your account to verify a recent transaction or check your balance, logging into your account over public Wi-Fi isn’t worth the risk.
Instead, access your bank account only when you are using a private, secure internet or data connection. When logging into your account on a desktop or mobile device, make sure you’re providing login information, security questions, and two-factor authentication every time.
4. Use a valid banking app.
Downloading a bank’s mobile app is the easiest way to bank from your phone. However, with the continued push toward mobile banking, hackers have gotten savvier. Mobile app users must be wary of dummy apps run by hackers that look like a bank’s mobile app but instead fraudulently capture a user’s personal data.
To prevent this risk, download the mobile app from an app store or directly from a bank’s website. Do your due diligence by reading product reviews. Should you have any concerns, contact your bank directly to verify that the app in question is legitimate. Mobile banking offers the same high level of customer service without the wait.
5. Monitor security alerts.
Play an active role in keeping your account secure. Mobile banking allows you to enable alerts and notifications so you’re up to date with all of your most recent banking activity. Log in to your account frequently to detect fraud and monitor real-time safety alerts.
If you notice suspicious activity on your account—purchases that seem out of the ordinary or unauthorized logins—flag it in your account and alert your bank immediately. Banking reps will report the fraudulent activity and process a claim as necessary.
Mobile banking offers users the versatility and functionality they need to manage their money and create informed budgets. Understanding where money is coming from and where it’s headed next sets users up for better financial decisions in the future. Interested in learning more about mobile banking? Download FSCB’s mobile banking app today.