Safe Mobile Banking Practices
Enjoy The Convenience of Mobile Banking
Keeping the following precautions in mind, a little caution and common sense on your own, and assistance from our experts working behind the scenes to keep you secure, will help ensure that you enjoy the convenience of mobile banking with peace of mind.
Tips for Safe Mobile Banking
- Keep an eye on your phone. With all the information we store on smart phones, a lost or stolen phone can be disastrous. You may not even be able to call your service provider if that contact information is stored in the phone you no longer have! You can add some security by installing an “app” that lets you remotely wipe all the data from your phone in an emergency. (Yes, “there’s an app for that...”) But...
- ...just in case you do lose your phone, password-protect it. Now. This may sound like common sense — and it is — yet many smart phone users fail to do it. If you store sensitive information on your phone, make absolutely sure that no one can use your phone without the password.
- Always use secure apps, and avoid public or unprotected wi-fi. While it’s statistically unlikely you’ll get hacked, the possibility is still there, so why take the chance?
- Never use a mobile banking app from an unreliable source. In other words, never use an app from a source other than your bank. About a year ago, Android smart phone users downloaded what they thought was a mobile banking app. Unfortunately, the app did not provide banking services, but instead rewarded its developer, “09Droid,” with $1.50 from each of many users who bought the program.
- Even for non-banking apps, deal only with reliable sources. Before you touch the “purchase” button on your mobile screen, do some homework. Be sure you’re dealing with people who are who they say, whose app performs as claimed, and whose product is virus-free. Last September, more than a million mobile phones in China were compromised by a virus. Ironically, the virus was packed inside what was sold as an anti-virus app. The virus gave hackers access to the phones’ SIM card so they could send text messages to people listed in the address book.
- For mobile and online transactions, use your credit card instead of your debit card. Let’s be clear: a debit or “checking” card provides a convenient way to use your checking account without having to write checks. But it's better to use debit cards for in-person, cash-and-carry transactions, and when you sign for your purchase instead of entering a PIN. Naturally, you can’t sign for a purchase made on your mobile phone. While federal rules and bank policy provide some great protection for mobile and online debit card use, the protection is greater when you use a credit card instead. (Note: If at any time you believe your debit or credit card account has been compromised, report it to your bank immediately.)