06 Nov 5 Important Tips for Secure Mobile Banking
Mobile banking has made withdrawals and deposits dramatically easier. Many apps let you photograph a check and deposit it directly into your account instead of driving over to the bank. Mobile banking also makes budgeting much more convenient. Gone are the days of frantically recording each purchase in the back of your checkbook. Now, you can keep track of your expenses anywhere, at any time with the help of a banking app installed on your mobile device. However, the accessibility of mobile banking has led some to question its security. Here are five simple tips for the safest possible mobile banking experience.
Watch out for phishing
Since there are so many different mobile banking apps available, it is nearly impossible for a thief to predict which app you have, and even more difficult to hack it. Since hacking a random person’s mobile banking account is extremely difficult, many thieves will try to trick you into revealing your personal information. These scams are called phishing, since they involve “baiting” a potential victim into sharing passwords or other sensitive information. One trick, called spoofing, sends you to a website masquerading as your bank via a link on a text or email. If you click on the link and enter your banking information, then the thieves can steal your information. Instead, navigate directly to your bank’s website to avoid getting trapped on an unprotected site.
Be careful on public networks
Only log into your bank account when you are on a secure private network. Public networks can be hacked much more easily than a private, locked wifi network. If a network you have used is hacked, a thief can access any information you’ve entered online, including sensitive passwords. Although it takes a few extra seconds, type in your password each time you access your mobile account instead of auto-saving it. If your phone is stolen, a thief can access all of your mobile bank information if it isn’t password protected. Many banks will ask additional security questions for another layer of protection.
Make sure you download an official app
Check your bank’s official website for information about their official app so that you aren’t tricked into downloading a fake app that will steal your information. Only download banking apps from the Apple AppStore or from Google Play. Any other platform cannot promise complete security. Once you’ve downloaded the official app from a reputable channel, pay attention to any updates offered. App developers are constantly reevaluating their products for security risks. When they’ve fixed a bug, they’ll offer a new update for the app. Immediately update your banking app whenever prompted.
Don’t jailbreak your mobile device
Hacking your own phone, a process known as jailbreaking, promises an opportunity for cool features or customization that isn’t available on a regular device. However, this can leave your phone open to security breaches. Never access your banking information on an unsecured device that has been jailbroken. Smartphone developers encrypt phones with built-in security features that can help protect the devices from hackers.
Keep track of mobile developments
Your bank’s official communication channels, such as its website, will keep you informed of any glitches, improvements, or security breaches. If you think you may have received an official message or if something goes wrong with your app, don’t hesitate to reach out to your bank. Your bank’s team would much rather have you call to alert them of a potential scam than for you to become a victim of theft. Regularly reviewing your banking statements and mobile app payments can help you immediately realize if your account has been compromised.
By watching out for phishing scams, only accessing your banking information on secure networks, updating your app, avoiding jailbreaking your device, and keeping track of mobile developments, you can ensure that an already-safe channel remains secure. The Bank of the Lowcountry offers a completely safe, convenient system for mobile banking. For more information, or to chat with a representative, give us a call at (843) 549-2265.