Managing your money has never been so easy. With the rise of mobile banking, paying your bills and checking your balance can be as simple as posting a photo to your Instagram feed. But there’s a price to pay for the convenience of depositing checks from anywhere in the world with a simple click of your mobile camera. That price is the increased risk that your private data and access to your accounts could fall into the wrong hands.
Banking fraud expert Julie Conroy warns, “as additional people flock to the mobile channel and transactions multiply, the bad guys are paying attention and deploying more attacks against it.”
The best way to protect yourself, of course, is to know the risks. Read on for our guide to the dangers of mobile banking and foolproof tips on how to avoid them.
1. Wireless Networks Are Hacker-Friendly
Unlike websites, mobile apps don’t properly encrypt information, which means it’s not a good idea to access your bank account via mobile app when you’re on a public or otherwise unsecured Wi-Fi network. As computer science expert Ron Vetter explains, “mobile banking apps are connected to wireless networks, and these networks are inherently insecure as they broadcast their messages into the open air.”
If you plan to use a mobile app to conduct a sensitive transaction, you’re better off using a secure wireless network or your phone’s data network. This will help reduce the risk of your private information being intercepted by a hacker or some other third party.
2. Poor Reception Means Poor Security
Even if you’re diligent in accessing your mobile banking app on your phone’s data network rather than a wireless network, the security of your financial information could still be at risk if your 4G or 3G data drops into a lower service range. Poor reception invites the chance that the data contained in your banking transaction could misfire and be intercepted by an unauthorized third party.
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