Risks When Banking on Your Phone

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More and more people are using their mobile devices for their banking needs. Whether it’s managing their checking, savings, or credit card accounts or paying at the checkout, there has been a huge increase in mobile banking. While it is convenient to do, there are increased security risks. According to experts, here are some dangers to avoid, via an article in U.S. News:

“Mobile banking apps are connected to wireless networks, and these networks are inherently insecure as they broadcast their messages into the open air,” says Ron Vetter , a computer science professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and co-founder of the technology company Mobile Education LLC. (via U.S. News)

  • Watch out for public Wi-Fi networks. Try to avoid using the public Wi-Fi networks of coffee shops, airports and other public spaces. You have no control over who else is accessing the network and potentially snooping. Adjust your settings so your phone automatically connect to available Wi-Fi’s.
  • Protect with a password, or risk passing along your bank account. They are talking about your phone here. If you lose it, and it isn’t password protected, anyone who finds it could log into your apps.
  • Auto-saved passwords are not secure protection. This goes with the previous risk. If you have told your phone to remember your passwords anyone who gets access to your phone gets access to your money.
  • Shared devices could share problems. If you share a mobile device you don’t know what unsecured websites others are going to that could download, for example, key-logging software.
  • Instant might not always be “instant.” Just because you deposit a check through your phone and the bank accepts it doesn’t mean the funds are instantly available. If anything, it may take longer for the check to clear because of the need to confirm the check is real and not one you just printed out on your computer or photoshopped.
  • Beware of rogue apps. Some apps want access to your bank account. Make sure that app really came from your bank or is a well-known, secure app before sharing your information.
  • Some devices are safer than others. Hackers can target any device. In the past, Android apps have been prime targets. Keep up on news about discovered vulnerability of mobile devices or new hacking plots.
  • Old, unused phones still store your information. Delete all apps and do your best to completely wipe it clean before you trade it in or sell it.
  • Outdated apps often mean out-of-date security. When you are notified that there is an update for your mobile banking app, download it! Many updates are security related.
  • Beware of poor reception. Low network connectivity can equal compromised banking transaction security.
  • Avoid tweeting personal information. This is a no-brainer, but people still do it. If you are contacting your bank about a problem with your account by social media, don’t share account numbers or other personal information. Contact them directly. Not through social media.

Remember, wireless networks broadcast into the open air. Be smart and avoid risks when banking on your phone.

For the full article from U.S. News, check out this link: What to Watch for When Banking on Your Phone – US News

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Written by BankScoop

BankScoop editors provide insightful commentary on important topics and stories of interest. Wherever possible, we attribute linked materials to their sources. If you would like to contribute content to BankScoop, contact us at


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