Money management has come a long way since the Friday after work “dash for cash” at the corner bank. In today’s world, money moves in real time, and cutting-edge technologies make everyone feel like a money mogul. With many electronic handheld devices, you can move money, pay bills and check on your account balances. However, a major downside, and a serious one, to mobile banking is the “hackability” factor. As quickly as new apps are developed, techno thieves find new ways to circumvent security protocols. Consumers should play it safe and protect their financial information when banking on the run. Try these five tips for smarter, safer mobile banking.
Tip # 1 – Secure Service Providers
Smarter, safer mobile banking begins with knowing who is responsible in a worst-case scenario. Avoid independent apps that have questionable security accountability. Find out which company is liable — the cell phone service provider or the application company — if your account is jeopardized. Do not sign on the dotted line until you know whom to contact if security problems arise.
Tip # 2 – Security Protocols
Select a mobile payment system that requires multiple passwords or a pin/password combination. Do not begrudge these small annoyances; they can save you big when you need it. Pick a payment system that protects the SIM card from fraud. Crooks can access unprotected cell phones and peek at your account information.
Tip # 3 – Password Strength
Avoid being witty and clever when choosing a password. Go for random passwords that combine upper and lower case letters along with numbers or other characters. Enroll in an encrypted password program that stores your passwords in case you forget them.
Tip # 4 – Don’t Store Information
In a perfect world, storing Social Security Numbers, passwords and birthdates in your cell phone would be a terrific idea. Unfortunately, criminals are on to these ideas. Besides keeping your money information out of the mobile device memory, you should avoid storing any sensitive information on your phone, even assigning text like “home” or “office” to phone numbers.
Tip # 5 – Data Removal
If you lose your phone or suspect your device’s stored information may be in jeopardy, you should purge your digital information remotely. Some device companies allow you to wipe away phone numbers, stored passwords and even text messages. Wipe your memory card clean from a land line or another cell phone by using a remote data removal service. Ask your app service or device provider for more information about removing data remotely.
Protect yourself and your money by using smarter, safer mobile banking.