Banking seems to get easier with every year that passes. First there were ATMs, then there was online banking. Now you can manage your accounts directly from your cell phone or mobile device. The problem, of course, is that each of these tools gets progressively less secure and more complicated.
Lock Your Phone
According to Cellphones.org, it is important to use the security measures available to you if you prefer mobile banking from your phone. Most phones will allow you to “lock” your phone with a PIN or security code, which makes it more difficult for others to access the device. If you leave it at the coffee shop or in your car, and it’s stolen, your data is safer.
Don’t Save Passwords
The site also recommends entering your passwords every time you need to access accounts rather than storing them automatically. When banking on your cell phone, it is essential to protect the data you access from it. Manually entering user IDs and passwords might be more time-consuming, but you’ll thank yourself if your phone is ever stolen.
Subscribe to Remote Wiping Programs
Some phones have remote wiping services that can be used to erase all data if your phone is ever lost or stolen. Since banking on your cell phone can leave personal information on the device, these services create peace of mind.
Don’t try banking on your cell phone in a crowded area where anyone could look over your shoulder. If you must do this in public, sit or stand with your back to a wall, and look up from time to time. This isn’t a foolproof method, but maintaining awareness of your surroundings will help protect sensitive data.
Text with Caution
Some banks allow you to communicate with them via text message, receiving alerts and account information. Keep in mind, however, that your bank won’t ask you to send them personal information, such as your account or social security numbers, via text. Always make sure you are actually communicating with your bank whenever you reveal personal information.
Download with Caution
Banking on your cell phone is easy when your bank offers a free application that allows you to manage your accounts. But before you download an app, make sure it is actually created by and for your bank. Verify sources and go to the institution to get the app.
There are tons of articles all over the Internet about how to hack phones, but this is a bad idea if you’re using mobile banking. Hacks create vulnerabilities in the security system of your phone, which could leave it open to hackers who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to gain access.
Follow Normal Security Procedures
One of the dangers of banking from your cell phone is the ease with which you can access account features. It becomes second nature, an afterthought, and this is where people get in trouble. Follow basic security procedures whenever you use mobile banking features. Don’t give your passwords to anyone, use complex passwords, and store your phone in a safe place.