Some people still refuse to do their banking through a smartphone. There’s a lingering sense that mobile security for banking apps just isn’t yet strong or reliable enough. Some folks are afraid their bank accounts are just too vulnerable to risk accessing them on a smartphone.
The truth is, the banking industry’s recently made great strides to tighten up its mobile act and, in the most commonly used brands of smartphones, banking security is pretty darned tight. But, the rumors persist — and for good reason.
Bankers do their best to provide secure software for their customers, but as customers, we have the ultimate responsibility to ensure our mobile transactions are secure. What goes wrong for people who get scammed by mobile banking fraudsters? Mostly human error.
Some of the most expensive mistakes in mobile banking occur when smartphone users forget or don’t know the risks.
- Discarded, lost or stolen phones are known for having residual banking information stored in them.
- Account numbers, passwords, deposit information and other data can allow a criminal to drain your bank account very quickly. Always lock and wipe a lost phone. Always.
- Weak or commonly used passwords are an invitation to criminals. If your password is one of the hundreds of obvious ones, such as 2345, superman, or any of those listed by the recent hackers of the LinkdIn and EHarmony systems last month. Design your banking passwords carefully, and never use the same password for banking that you’re using for other apps.
- Fake alerts that look like they’ve been sent by your bank are phishing scams, attempting to get you to re-enter your banking information. This trick has been around for a long time and it isn’t getting any better. Ignore them! If you have a question about whether an alert like this is legitimate, call your bank. Otherwise, delete it!
- Be sure the apps you’re using have been purchased from a reliable, well-known source. Third party apps are likely to be cloned, and loaded with some form of scam ware. Use only trusted apps, and check the site’s URL to be sure you’re on your bank’s legitimate, secured website
- Make certain you’ve downloaded a strong mobile security app that will alert you before malware is allowed to reach your smartphone. It’s your best insurance against fraud, and a smart investment for your family’s smartphones and tablets. Download the best and most reliable smartphone security you can find.
Just being more aware of our own activities can make mobile banking a much more carefree experience.
Have you ever lost money due to a mobile banking transaction? How did you discover it? What did you do? Please share your stories with us on our blog, or talk to us on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you.