Convenience is a driver for those of us who use technology to conduct financial transactions. Their benefits — convenience, ease, speed, the ability to manage your finances and pay bills from any location — are all good reasons to use mobile banking. But, there are dangers lurking in the online banking world that we should be aware of, particularly identify theft.
Here are four tips to help you protect yourself.
Secure your phone and your login credentials
For the sake of convenience, many people load up their mobile devices, e.g., smartphones, tablets, with everything ranging from passwords to contacts to calendar appointments. If your mobile device becomes lost or stolen, that can be dangerous information in the wrong hands. Securing it with a PIN or password that only you know will keep thieves from being able to access your valuable information. You should also avoid saving passwords and user Ids on your device, in case a thief disables your password.
Do not use public Wi-Fi networks
While many mobile devices allow you to connect to public Wi-Fi networks, such as those in coffee shops, you should avoid using them. The free public access also gives free reign to hackers who may be tracking your every move online. Disable the public Wi-Fi access on your device and use the network that comes with your device instead.
Beware of “phishing” scams and “spoofing”
As technology evolves, hackers’ approaches do too. They practice phishing (a phony text message or email) or spoofing (setting up a fake website), posing as a bank in order to get you to send your login credentials to them. If you receive an email from your “bank,” instead of using the links in an email, visit your bank’s official site to access your information. Also, your bank should never ask for your password or login information via email or over the phone.
Use official apps
Applications (apps) can add another level of convenience to your mobile banking experience, but be sure you are using the banks official app. To confirm the legitimacy of a bank’s app, visit their website to find out information about the official app and to confirm its authenticity before loading it onto your device.
Convenience has a price, especially if identity thieves achieve their goal of accessing your money. Use the tips above to help secure your finances.
Are you managing your money using a mobile device? Do you have security tips to share?