Helpful Tips for Safeguarding Your Sensitive Personal Information When Using Mobile Banking
Mobile banking is very convenient for today's busy lifestyle, but it can also expose your sensitive information if you aren't careful
Technological advances have made our lives easier. But those advances also make us vulnerable to criminals looking for a quick buck. Mobile banking is one way our lives are now easier. But mobile banking can also leave your door wide open to hacking and identity theft if you slip up or become careless. Review our helpful tips to make sure you're protecting your money and information the right way.
- Don't Share Passwords or Use the Same Password
- Only Use Your Financial Institution's App
- Log Out After Each Session
- Keep the Device Updated
- Keep the App Updated
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
- Avoid Public WiFi Networks
- Disable Automatic Log In
- Enable Special Device Features
- Alert the Financial Institution if the Phone is Lost or Stolen
- Delete Apps and Wipe Your Device
It may sound silly to mention, but you shouldn't be sharing your password with anyone. Doing so introduces a major security risk. Surprisingly, a lot of people leave passwords lying around, share passwords with friends and family, or use the same password for all accounts.
Only use the App supported by your financial institution. Any other App that isn't maintained by the financial institution could be distributed by criminals looking to harvest your information. And even if the App is a legitimate App, third party Apps typically don't get updated as often as those made by your financial institution. They simply don't have as much of a stake in keeping your information secure and can sometimes only make updates to their platforms when your financial institution makes changes on their.
Many Apps will log you out after a period of inactivity or whenever the App is minimized. But some Apps don't do this. If you don't log out after each use, it's just like unlocking your front door and walking away. Anyone can walk in and the App is no different. If someone gets access to your device in any way, the front door to your accounts is wide open.
If your device is running an older operating system with known vulnerabilities, you're inviting a hacker who can exploit those vulnerabilities to steal your information and your money. If updates are available to your operating system, you should consider installing them. If the operating system has recently undergone a major overhaul, which is often yearly, you might want to delay installing it until the first patch is released.
It's critical to keep your mobile banking Apps updated whenever an update is released. App developers are constantly finding and fixing security flaws that can allow your information to fall into the wrong hands. They also add new security features that can make your transactions more secure or even give you a better user experience.
Your banking information is probably a bit more important than your social media accounts. So why not implement two-factor authentication? Depending upon the App, you can require not only your account password but also your fingerprint, facial recognition scan, a Personal Identification Number (PIN), or even the correct selection of an image from multiple options.
There isn't such a thing as a secure WiFi network. Not only can your information risk being intercepted by a third party also using that network, some hackers even create fake public WiFi networks using mobile hotspots in order to harvest your personal information. If you are using a public WiFi network, you shouldn't be doing any mobile banking transactions or anything that you wouldn't want a hacker to see. Instead, disconnect from the network and use your phone's built-in cellular data or wait until you are on a more secure network.
It's definitely more convenient to let your App or browser save passwords, but you shouldn't be doing this. Phones and Apps are hackable, not to mention that you've handed over all passwords if someone steals your device and is able to access it.
Device manufacturers now offer different features allowing users to track or remotely disable their devices if they are ever lost or stolen. If these features aren't enabled, you should enable them. You'll feel a lot better about losing your device if you are able to remotely wipe its sensitive data.
Just like if you lose your credit card, you should let your financial institution know if you lose your phone or if it's stolen. The financial institution may be able to disable mobile banking for you or help you change your password until you are able to access the service again.
It can sometimes be helpful to periodically delete and reinstall the App in order to remove data from the device that is stored in cache. But don't think deleting the App will be enough if you are trading in your device or giving it to someone else. Whenever you are no longer using a device, it should be completely and securely reset to prevent someone from harvesting your 'deleted' data.