In the age of Tap to Pay and instant transactions, it’s important to keep your information as safe as you possibly can while you’re using banking services on your mobile phone. It can be nerve-wracking, but if you take the right precautions it’ll make it more difficult for anyone to access your account through your device.
We’ve got a list of the most useful tips for beginners and advanced users, so let’s get started.
1. Make Sure to Use the Official App Provided by Your Bank
This is probably the most important point on this list. Only use the official app provided by your bank, as they’re the least likely to cause you any issues.Avoid signing in from an insecure web browser, and never respond to emails asking you to login to your account.
These apps were designed with the sole purpose of making mobile banking as safe and as easy as possible, so it makes sense to put them to good use.
2. Use Phone Banking Instead of Internet Banking If You’re Unsure
If you’re worried that somebody may have access to your mobile or online banking, stop using your account instantly and inform your bank of any problems you think you may have.
Calling your bank is always an option if you can’t get there physically, and it’s a reasonably secure way to handle any business that you need to take care of while your account is being looked into.
3. Avoid Using Open Public Wi-fi Network
Public Wi-Fi can be useful if you’re on a limited data plan, but be careful when using them. Avoid using open wi-fi that does not have a password lock. In such open wi-fi setting, everything is sent in clear and is possible for people to monitor your browsing activity. If you definitely have to use wi-fi network in public such as conferences, see if you can use a network that is protected by a pre-shared key (PSK) using WPA2 encryption. This reduces the risk of your activity being monitored.
4. Staying Unrooted
Rooting your device comes with a number of perks, but it can also make your device more susceptible to malware if you don’t know what you’re doing. Users have reported problems when downloading suspect files, and they can often be hard to get rid of.
Malware like Shuanet will even try to root your phone, so it can survive a factory reset if you decide to resort to extreme measures to rid your device of excessive adverts.
It attempts to move the infected app to the system partition, which will make it really difficult to remove.
If you absolutely must root your device, make sure to follow the steps carefully and use a reliable source when downloading the necessary files. We have a number of rooting articles available which won’t cause any issues, but make sure that you can trust your sources.
5. Don’t Use the Same Password/ Random Passwords
This should go without saying, but make sure that you don’t use the same password across multiple accounts. If one account gets hacked, they could all fall like a house of cards.
Random passwords made up of numbers and letters are always the best, but they can be hard to remember. Try to strike a balance between a memorable phrase and something that would be hard to for potential thieves to guess.
6. Don’t Allow App Installations from Untrusted Source
A dodgy application can harm your device in more ways than you might think. From loud adverts, to selling your personal data, there’s so many ways your device can potentially be compromised.
Only download apps from verified sources such as the Play Store, and check what sort of permissions and information the app can access. You can also check user reviews to ascertain the legitimacy of the app.
Third-party app stores can also be dangerous, no matter how shiny any nice they might look. Malware can be lumped in with a legitimate Android APK, so it’s sometimes better to pay a premium to make sure you know what you’re downloading to your device.
7. Learn More About Your Banking App
Taking a few minutes to learn about your banking app could save you any potential hassle. Most websites will have information about the services on offer, and they’re often more useful than you might expect.
Some banks offer to ‘protect you’ while you’re banking with your mobile, which means they’ll cover any losses incurred by suspicious activity, while most have policies in place to protect you and your money.It’s worth finding out exactly how they can help you.
8. Get a Notification Every Time There Is a Transaction
Many banking applications have the ability to notify you if there’s any action on your account. Since many companies prefer to give paperless account reports, it’s an easy way to spot any fraudulent activities as quickly as possible, which could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
Contact your bank if you spot any suspicious transactions on your mobile banking account.
9. Third Party Keyboards
Third-party keyboards are generally safe, (as long as they came from a reputable source) but it’s possible that they can come attached with malware that can copy your keystrokes while you’re typing in your banking password. (Which is obviously very bad news.)
Be very careful when downloading keyboards from the Play Store, and even more so if you’re getting it from an unverified source.
10. Update Your Phone’s OS and Apps Whenever Possible
If you keep your phone and banking app updated at all times, it should make it harder for hackers searching for vulnerabilities in older software. The most recent updates should help to keep your device as safe as possible, and it’ll also make the apps and your device more functional with every update.
So it’s pretty much a win-win.
11. Keep Your Device Locked
I know quite a few people who leave their device unlocked at all times, and it must be a scary prospect if their phone is lost or stolen.(They never seem to be worried beforehand though.)
You’ll be able to block the phone eventually, but in the meantime they could have access to your passwords and account details. If somebody manages to hack your email, they could potentially have access to most of your accounts, so consider yourself warned.
If your device is stolen, a passcode will only be able to keep a thief at bay for a limited amount of time. If you use the next tip on this list, it’ll most likely be enough. (As long as your passcode isn’t 0000.)
12. Phone Tracking App to Delete Data
If your Android device is lost or stolen, one of the best ways to eliminate any potential breaches (such as passwords, personal information and account info) is to install an app that will track your phone and delete all personal data and apps from your device.
Lost Android will allow you to perform most of these functions, and it’s available in the Play Store.
If you need to wipe your phone or erase your SD card, or you just want to locate your missing device, it’s one of a few apps on the Play Store that will do it all, and it’s reasonably easy to use.
13. Download an Antivirus App for Android
If you haven’t already downloaded an antivirus app on the Play Store,I’m advising you to get one as soon as you possibly can. Android isn’t walled off like Apple software, so by it’s very design Android is more open to hackers if the device isn’t protected properly.
If you don’t like the ‘look’ of Lookout there’s a variety of antivirus apps available on the Store.
14. Don’t Follow Links from Suspicious Emails or Websites
One of the most common ways to get phished is by unsuspectedly clicking on a link that has been disguised as an email from a bank or service. They’re just trying to harvest your password, so they can login and cause havoc with your account.
If you’ve received an email and you’re not sure what to do, phone the company directly and you’ll be able to check whether or not the message was legitimate.
15. Don’t Connect to Other Devices While Banking
Make sure that you’re not connected to another device while you’re banking on your mobile, and turn off your personal hotspot if necessary.It should go without saying, but make sure nobody can access your screen.
16. Don’t Store Passwords on Your Device, or Send Them via Text Message
In essence, it’s a bad idea to store passwords on your device, or send them to anyone else via text message. It might have been safe to leave the key in the door while our parents were young, but there’s no point in having a password if it’s easily found out by going through your device for a few minutes.
Logging in to accounts every time is pretty time-consuming, but it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.
17. If You Think That You Might Have Been Scammed
As with internet banking, the best thing that you can do if you think you’ve been scammed or hacked is to contact your bank as soon as possible. They’ll be able to deactivate your mobile banking account, which should help to curb any irregularities while they investigate your issues.
If your mobile banking app begins to behave strangely, contact your bank as soon as possible.
Mobile banking is often seen as a dangerous endeavor, but it’s actually pretty safe as long as you know what you’re doing.Even if you take every precaution, you can still lose your device, so it’s best to follow as many of the steps as you can to stay one step ahead.
If we’ve missed a great tip, or you have questions about smartphone banking, let us know in the comments below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.