Imagine this: you’re all ready for your big vacation, and as you’re running out the door to catch your flight it comes to your mind that your trip account has been drawn down to $5. However, you whip out your smartphone and in just a few taps and swipes your account is now full with all the cash you could need for the trip. Mobile banking like this is being instituted among national chains and regional credit unions alike, and these institutions are rapidly improving the practicality and uses for mobile banking. The once limited function can now handle a whole load of tasks:
- Transferring funds
- Monitoring balances
- Paying bills
- Access multiple accounts
However, all of these interactions make occasional lapses in security a notable risk and a source of the top mobile banking dangers. We’ll take a look at some of the potential risks and pitfalls, as well as what you can do to avoid the top mobile banking dangersbefore making it a part of your daily financial life.
The majority of consumer-market phones are not capable of encrypting SMS (text) messages, so text messaging (a very common interface used in mobile banking) is vulnerable and possible to intercept. Experts say that if your phone is stolen, hackers can restore your deleted messages and obtain your account information. To avoid this potentially unnecessary and dangerous top mobile banking danger, only use SMS messaging for mobile banking if it is necessary, and even then consider if it is necessary. If you don’t correspond with your bank via text, it will be much more difficult for your financial info to find the wrong hands.
Most mobile operating platforms don’t have access to security systems as powerful as those in normal bank mechanisms like ATMs and official websites, so they are much more vulnerable to targeting by fraudsters. These people rapidly change their identities and obtain security info through quick, consecutive attempts. Luckily for us, most users have the option to institute extra measures of security like additional passwords, encryption barriers separate from the bank. However, these measures require a good deal of effort from the bank’s customer. An easy measure is use the password protect on your phone and lock it whenever you aren’t using it, or install a specialized security software if you’re very concerned about your financial security and don’t want to fall to one of the top mobile banking dangers.
If someone has hacked into your account by discovering your banking password, it will be difficult to recover your information and security. To prevent this or mitigate damage should it happen, many phones offer remote-wipe options. These allow you to erase all information on your phone or account to prevent use by the wrong parties, and are a great safety net if your phone goes missing—another one of the top mobile banking dangers.
Many applications (“apps) are the banks’ main way of having you access your account information from a mobile platform. Transfers, balance viewing, and bills are all handled through these apps. Phishing, a way of obtaining sensitive information through fake or fraudulent websites, emails, is growing to apps—some call it “the next generation of phishing.” A fraudulent application on your device could spread your sensitive info like account PIN numbers and transfer privileges could be passed on to the wrong hands from these. A simple way to prevent these frightening top mobile banking dangers is to avoid any and all pop ups and advertisements, especially those promoting mobile banking apps. If you have even the slightest doubt about the validity of any mobile banking app, verify it with your local bank before downloading it or you may be putting your finances at an unnecessary risk. The best option is to download the app directly from your financial institution’s web site, or find an officially verified app on the app market for your device.
With the development of mobile technology, size of devices has decreased greatly. While convenient, this combined with the growth of mobile banking in popularity has made lost or stolen phones a much greater danger to the owner (and attractive target to thieves) than before. A criminal or hacker can retrieve not only your personal info but also your passwords, texts, and financial info from a lost phone. If your phone is stolen, call your bank to prevent fraudulent use of your account, and try to find a way to either obtain the lost device or prevent any sensitive information from leaving it. By doing this, you protect yourself from the scariest top mobile banking dangers.
Remember that the best defense against problems from mobile banking is to keep close track of your bank account and keep a special eye out for suspicious activity. Automatic electronics alerts on your mobile device can help not only mobile banking frauds but other kinds as well, and always remember to exercise common sense and general digital safety when working with mobile banking.