Keeping track of our money, bank accounts, credit cards and finances has never been easier than it is today, thanks to mobile technology and the internet. With just a posting of a photo to your Instagram you can check your balance or pay off your bills. Yet the price you could pay for that same very ease of use could be to steep to pay. That same ease of use and on the go technology comes with increased risks as many Americans discover each year when they discover that their data and accounts have fallen into the hands of cyber criminals.
As more people migrate to using mobile banking, criminals are quick to develop more methods to steal your information. The tactics being used by these criminals get better with ease passing year. As the cyber attacks on mobile users mount users of mobile banking technology need to be aware of the risks at hand. Below are some of the known methods these criminals use and how to avoid them.
Wireless is extremely hacker friendly
Websites can encrypt your information but mobile apps generally cannot do this. Due to this reason accessing any of your financial information via a mobile app is never a good idea when you are on a public or any unsecured wifi network. Mobile banking apps are usually connected to unsecured wireless networks which basically broadcast your information such as passwords to anyone who has the software to listen in. You would be shocked at how easy it is to “listen” in on mobile traffic in a general area and the sheer amount of personal information that can be quickly attained, including your banking and financial information. If you must access your financial information or anything you wish to keep private on the go you should use your phones data network or secured wireless networks only, and even this is not 100% safe but it is better than the alternative.
Did you know that nearly 40% of all mobile device users do not password protect their devices? Should these users lose their mobile device and it falls into the wrong hands your info could be at risk. It is as simple as someone picking up your phone and logging into your banking app then accessing your funds. Auto saving your password also put you at risk for the same reasons. Never allow an app to remember your user name or your password, and yes I know that means an extra step or two but it also means securing your mobile device. You can also opt to install a remote device wiping application that will allow you to wipe out data from your phone even if your mobile device is no longer in your possession.
Their are tons of phishing apps lurking in all app stores. They look like legitimate apps for your bank, credit union or credit card but are in fact not legitimate, even though they may allow you to actually log into the financial institution in question the apps creator has now gained full access to your accounts. To avoid this unwanted problem simply download apps directly from your financial institutions website. If you use Andriod only download apps from Google Play and set your security settings to abort any other installations.