5 Tips for smarter, safer mobile banking
The rise of the smartphone has brought countless technological benefits that make our daily lives easier in so many ways, and one of the biggest has been the freedom of mobile banking. Gone are the days of waiting in a busy branch on a Saturday afternoon to transfer money into your savings account, or calling an automated number to check your balance.
But having your bank accounts within such close reach does bring its dangers, and it shouldn’t simply be assumed that logging in and doing your banking can now be done at any time and in any place. Here are five quick tips to keeping your money safely where it should be.
Keep it official
If you’re going to log into your bank, credit card or savings account via an app, the safest approach is to use your bank’s own software. It will have a robust login procedure that makes use of a PIN and memorable information, and it will use SSL (secure socket layer) to encrypt sessions. Sure, you might see a third-party banking app getting rave reviews in the app store, and some of them are every bit as secure, but is it worth taking the risk? Stick to the official mobile app of your bank, for peace of mind. Put your app to the test with this free tool, the App Security Score widget powered by Norton Mobile Insight technology.
Banks, credit cards, and financial institutions may send you unsolicited emails or texts from time to time, but be wary of messages that prompt you to click a link to access your account. Whatever the message says, always close it and make your own way to the official website or app, then log in as you normally would. If you’re on the web look out for the “https” in the site address, a sure sign of a secured URL.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
You wouldn’t let a stranger look over your shoulder while you enter your PIN in a shop or at a cash machine, so you shouldn’t be logging into your mobile banking accounts over an insecure public wi-fi network. A password protected, private home wi-fi or virtual private network are much safer connections.
Lock your phone
Most good banking apps will log you out of your account automatically when you close the app, but it pays to make use of all the layers of protection freely available to you. First, always log out after each mobile banking session. Also, make sure your phone has its automatic time-out screen lock switched on, so that even if you leave an app logged in, a thief won’t be able to get close enough to do real damage.
Install security software
Even the most vigilant smartphone users can get tricked by the latest sophisticated criminal approaches, such as seemingly legitimate apps that conceal keyloggers or other malware. To take away the uncertainty about which apps you can trust, install Norton Mobile Security and use it to scan apps for malicious code before you download and run them. Try Norton Mobile Security for free.