The number of people using mobile banking has soared over the past few years. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, 53 percent of smartphone owners have used mobile banking in the past year.
But how secure are mobile banking apps?
Mobile banking is secure and convenient, saving you many trips to brick-and-mortar establishments or ATMs. Here are eight tips you can use to help ensure your information remains secure when using mobile banking apps.
1. Do Not Share Your Password With Anyone
Fraudsters often contact people via email or text message claiming to be from a certain financial institution and asking them for their mobile account passwords. They may request you send your password as a reply, or they may provide a link to a website where you are supposed to confirm a password.
This is a scam. A reputable financial institution will not send you an email asking for your mobile account password. Never reply to anyone with this information. Don’t hand over your username or PIN, either.
2. Only Check Your Mobile Account Over Secure Internet
Many people use public Wi-Fi connections for their smartphones to reduce the data they consume. It may be tempting to check your mobile banking account when using these connections, but resist that urge.
Entering sensitive information such as your username, password, and PIN via public Wi-Fi opens you up to a possible hack.
3. Connect Through the Financial Institution’s App
You can use a browser to log into your account, but you’re better off downloading your financial institution’s own app and logging in with it.
Using an app offers greater security than a browser. If your mobile app offers it, using a feature such as fingerprint ID can enhance security even more.
4. Update Your App Regularly
Run updates on your mobile banking app when they become available. Many updates relate to security, and you want to have the most up-to-date app settings possible to keep your banking information safe.
5. Log Out After Every Mobile Banking Session
Whether you’re using the app or a browser, you should always log out of your mobile banking session when you’re done. Log out and close the mobile browser or exit the app after every use to keep your information protected. This way, if you log onto public Wi-Fi or lose your phone, you won’t leave your account vulnerable.
6. Install Fingerprint ID or Facial Recognition on Your Phone
When it comes to mobile banking, your phone’s safety correlates directly to your financial information’s safety. If you don’t have a foolproof system to keep others off your phone, you may have a difficult time keeping your financial information safe.
On many smartphones, fingerprint ID or facial recognition is an option. Use it if you have it — you’ll have an added layer of security if your phone gets stolen or lost.
7. Delete Apps and Other Personal Information When You Switch Phones
Many people upgrade their phones every couple of years. When you do so, make sure you have wiped all your personal information from the phone. Remove your banking app, too, so no one knows what financial institution you use if they end up with your old phone.
8. Inform Your Financial Institution If You Lose Your Phone
Just as you contact your financial institution if you misplace your credit card, let them know if your phone goes missing and follow their instructions on how to disable mobile banking. This precautionary measure can protect your financial information.
Do Your Mobile Banking With PSECU
If you aren’t already using mobile banking, take the plunge. Mobile apps, like the one offered by PSECU, allow you to send money to others and pay your bills. You can also check account balances, deposit checks, and lock/unlock stolen or misplaced debit or credit cards without ever leaving your home.