Everyone depends on a mobile device for just about every facet of their lives. From sending out work emails to creating grocery lists and daily reminders, phones are relied upon heavily.
And when it comes to personal banking, mobile devices are also an important tool. You may not always be able to make a quick stop at the local Landmark Bank branch to deposit a check. But with the mobile application, you can safely and securely do just that from the comfort of home or while at work.
While mobile devices are helpful, you also have to use a bit of caution when owning one. Threats, both physical and online, are out there. And if you aren't careful enough, not only can an attacker steal personal information, but your financial accounts may be compromised as well.
These five mobile device security tips go further than some of the standard ones you may already be following, such as keeping your device updated and requiring a password in order to unlock it.
Watch your downloads
Both iOS and Android devices come with app stores. As you know very well by now, these virtual stores are where you download and sometimes purchase apps as you see fit. There's likely an app for anything and everything you can think of.
The good news for you is that Apple and Google review all app submissions before they go live on their stores. Both companies also have strict developer guidelines, and in particular, go over security. If an app doesn't meet the requirements, it isn't made available for download.
There are times however, when apps sneak through the review process. Before installing an app, read over what permissions it requires, such as being able to access your contacts. If there is something you don't feel comfortable with or doesn't make sense, don't download it. This approach applies for both iOS and Android users.
Now comes the part where the mobile operating systems differ. Android enables users to download and install apps that are not on the Google Play store. These are not reviewed or scanned and can be harmful, so it's in your best interest to avoid installing from outside the app store.
If you're using an iPhone, you don't have to worry about apps outside the app store. Apple designed its operating system to only allow apps downloaded from their app store to work on their mobile devices.
Be careful of what you store
Many aspects of your personal and work lives can likely be found on your phone. But you should limit the amount of sensitive information you keep on the device.
Try to avoid keeping the password for your checking account on your phone, as well as your Social Security number. In the event an unauthorized user gets ahold of your phone, he or she may be able to scour through it for that sensitive information.
If you do have to keep passwords and more on your mobile device, use apps that are password protected. This way, not only would a thief have to bypass your phone's security, but also the app.
Wipe your phone
Another reason you should limit the amount of sensitive data on your phone revolves around when you upgrade. With new phones coming out every year, you may feel the itch to always have the latest and greatest.
Before you switch devices, always wipe your old phone. Complete this task whether you're trading it in or selling to a family member. Doing so will completely ensure there's nothing lingering on the phone someone else might stumble upon.
Phishing attempts exist on mobile devices. Just as if you were using a computer, you shouldn't go around clicking every link you see, whether it's in an email or text message. Earlier this year, BBC News reported on Android malware spread through SMS messages.
"You shouldn't go around clicking every link you see."
If you receive a message containing a link from an unknown sender, always remain hesitant and avoid clicking anything right away. Users of iOS also have to remain vigilant against unknown links and emails.
Watch your surroundings
You use your phone just about everywhere and so does everyone else. Try to limit your usage in crowded areas where other individuals may be able to peek over your shoulder and see your username and passwords as you type.
The best defense here is to simply be aware of your surroundings while you use your phone out in the public.
Protecting your mobile device is just as important as guarding against threats while on a laptop or desktop computer. Use caution if you see suspicious links, be careful of what you download and avoid keeping personal data on the device for long periods of time.
For more tips and updates on the latest in banking technology, contact Landmark Bank.
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