It is easier than ever to manage your finances these days. Now that we have access to lots of different mobile banking technologies, it is simple to pay bills, get cash or just to check your bank balance. As we all know, though, there are good and bad sides to everything. Any time we sacrifice in order to get additional convenience, we wind up losing something. In the case of mobile banking technology, we can end up losing a bit of security when we seek to find even more convenient ways to get access to our finances.
Banking fraud expert, Julie Conroy sums it up like this: “As additional people flock to the mobile channel and transactions multiply, the bad guys are paying attention and deploying more attacks against it.” With Conroy’s statement in mind, it is good to know how to protect yourself from some of the dangers of mobile banking apps and websites. Here are some of the dangers lurking out there that you need to be aware of…
The Danger of Bad Reception
Some people opt to use their phone carrier’s data network instead of wireless to access their accounts. While 3G and 4G can be very secure, the security level drops when you access your financial apps via a lower service range area. In other words, the worse the 4G reception, the higher the likelihood that your data could be compromised. To avoid this threat, try to only access your bank account information or PayPal account when you are in an area that has superior connectivity rates.
Hackers can get into Wireless Networks with Ease
Some people don’t know this, but mobile apps do not always encrypt your information the way that secure websites do. This means that when you use a mobile app to access your bank account on a public or unsecured wireless network, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. Most public wifi hotspots are not very secure, and hackers are notorious for hacking into these networks to steal financial or personal data. If you must use a mobile app to access your bank account, make sure to use your home’s secured wireless network to avoid the potential of becoming a victim of hackers.
Losing Your Phone can Lead to Even more Severe Losses
It used to be that if you lost your cell phone that you would simply be out the cost of the phone. These days, though, with people storing their entire digital lives on their smart phones, losing your phone can lead to serious problems. Studies have proven that about 40 percent of smart phone users don’t use any type of password protection on their devices. If you are one of those folks, and you happen to lose your phone, anyone who picks it up could get immediate access to your sensitive personal and financial information. To avoid this threat, make use of the password protection option on your smart phone.
Waiting to get Money
Even though you are allowed to make instant deposits via mobile banking apps, you may have to wait a bit longer than you are accustomed to in order to access those funds. Banks are always concerned about protecting themselves against fraud. With the possibilities for fraud growing exponentially with the rise of mobile banking apps, banks have to do what they can to stay protected. This means that mobile deposits are subject to longer waiting periods than traditional cash deposits at your local bank branch.
Mobile banking apps are great for giving you instant access to all of your bank accounts. Just be sure that you are aware of some of these potential risks and that you take action to keep your bank account protected.