Mobile Banking:  What it Can do for You, and How to Protect Yourself

Mobile Banking: What it Can do for You, and How to Protect Yourself

Mobile banking has revolutionized the way consumers do their banking.  Mobile banking involves using your mobile phone or other mobile device to access your bank account, credit card or other financial accounts.  With this technology, you have the ability to remotely access your bank account and conduct transactions using your bank’s website, mobile app or by text messaging. 

Mobile banking users are able to check their account balances before making a purchase and monitor their account for fraudulent activity while on the go. Mobile banking lets consumers manage their accounts in several ways.  Checking account balances or transactions, transferring money between accounts, paying bills, and depositing checks electronically are among the most frequently used services. 

Mobile banking also helps customers manage their accounts through mobile alerts.  Among others, mobile banking users can receive low balance alerts, deposit or withdrawal alerts, and payment due alerts. 

Customers should view their mobile device as a tool to help protect their account.  With 24/7 access to your account activity, you can use your mobile device to monitor your account for fraudulent transactions. The American Bankers Association recommends following these tips to protect your mobile device:

  • Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.

  • Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.

  • Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”

  • Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.

  • Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a Social Security number on your mobile device.

  • Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.

  • Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.

  • Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.

  • Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of notifications (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.

  • Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren't very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.

  • Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
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