Every day, millions of people use one or more mobile banking apps to manage their money. With the convenience and simplicity of these services, it's easy to see why mobile banking has become popular. Unfortunately, these same benefits may prove detrimental to security, making these applications prime targets for cybercriminals. Here's what you need to know about safe mobile banking:
Fraud is rare, but it happens
The good news is, for now, mobile banking fraud is rare compared to other types of cybercrime. Hacking and data breaches from mobile banking services accounted for just 3 percent of all known cybercrime activities in 2016, according to data from Risk Based Security. But as data leaks from any source become more frequent, and as more people conduct more of their financial transactions through mobile or web apps, most researchers expect banking to remain a prime target.
Safety tips for mobile banking
When you use a mobile app from a trustworthy bank or another business, you should take advantage of the safety and security features it includes. Most of these are either enabled automatically (like password access) or don't take long to set up yourself (like two-factor authentication). Follow these action steps to ensure you bank safely using a mobile device:
Set a strong password
This is the hallmark of digital security in any setting: a strong password that only you know. Follow your bank's instructions for creating a password, and make sure it's hard to guess but easy for you to remember. For instance, avoid using simple words, names or numbers that someone else could guess, like your birthday.
Use multiple forms of authentication
A password is one factor used to authenticate and allow access to bank information online. But most trusted apps allow for two or more authentication factors. These are extra steps in the login process that can prevent unwanted access in the event that someone guesses the password. The app might send a second code to another mobile device that you can access, or might tap into your phone's fingerprint scanner to confirm your identity.
Pay attention to where and how you login
Safe mobile banking is all about making your information more difficult for intruders to access. Passwords and multi-factor authentication allow this as well, but being aware of exactly how you access the internet while banking virtually ensures you won't be a target.
- If possible, don't log into your bank account or another password-protected website while connected to a public wireless network. Unless you're faced with a financial emergency at the coffee shop, connect over your cellular network, or just wait until you get home instead.
- Never provide your password or other account information to anyone. Always verify the identity of a business or individual before making a payment to them.
- Monitor your bank account transactions regularly to look out for any suspicious or unfamiliar activity.
For more information about mobile banking, talk to a representative at your local Landmark Bank.
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