Mobile banking popularity is growing unstoppably as more and more people become aware of all the benefits. It is much more convenient to check one’s account, send money or make a payment without standing in an endless queue at a local bank.
All the serious banks are very careful with their mobile users, minding the safety and security of mobile transactions. However, it is a customer’s responsibility to ensure that mobile banking is used responsibly. Using mobile banking turns your smartphone or tablet into a security device, which in turn must be properly protected from unauthorized use.
Therefore, it is crucial to protect the mobile device with the PIN at least. Do not reveal the PIN to anyone, or make it easy to guess. This happens a lot actually: most users tend to choose a PIN which is simple and easy to remember, such as “1234” or “0000”. Also, prepare your PIN. Some ATMs recognize only a four-number PIN. Make sure your PIN doesn’t start with a zero.
Updating the operating system on the device, be it an iPhone or Android, a tablet is crucial to security. An attacker could compromise the system using known flaws of an operating system which hasn’t been updated.
Do not use unsecured Wi-Fi networks for banking, mobile shopping or checking emails. It is hard to determine whether a hotspot is secure or not. Mobile internet is pretty cheap throughout the European Union nowadays, so it is much more secure to use a 3G or 4G connection when in doubt about connection security.
Take special care not to leave your mobile device unattended or stored in an unsafe place. Both Google Play and AppStore offer tracking apps which can locate stolen devices and securely erase them from anywhere in the world. Download one and set it up as a precaution.
Be aware that there are a lot of fake banking apps lurking around on the unauthorized app markets. Cybercriminals are always trying to stay one step ahead. Not long ago the Chinese Yanbian Gang used fake apps to infect thousands of mobile Android devices from South Korea.
Set up additional security from the mobile banking app. A lot of banks offer SMS validation for every transaction. That way you can spot fraudulent activity as soon as it happens.
Beware of phone calls or emails claiming to be from the bank and asking for the login credentials or other confidential data. Your bank would never request these details via phone or email.
Tell your bank where are you going. That way, the bank will track credit card use more precisely. If the card is being used in some place unexpected, the bank might temporarily block it as a security precaution, which in turn might ruin a day or two overseas.
Take extra precautions when traveling abroad. You might need to access your online banking through a computer you’ve never used before. In that case, you might need to answer additional security questions. Ensure no one can see your screen and always check the correct URL of the bank. Always log out by clicking the icon, and then close the internet browser.
Bring at least two valid cards with you, in case one gets stolen, damaged or lost. Be aware that replacement card takes days or even weeks to arrive. Check the expiration dates and write down numbers of the customer service.