Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Safe Smart Phone Banking

Smart phones allow you access to your bank account at any time, which is very convenient for our modern busy lifestyles. It is, however, crucial to make sure that no one else can obtain your personal information. Account update options via text message are low risk because they contain limited information and no access to your account. 

Banks provide money management apps and some banks provide options to log into their internet banking site from a smart phone. Smart phone banking is relatively safe providing that security precautions are taken. Phones which provide simultaneous multi-app access such as the iPhone4 carry the greatest risk, because they provide more opportunity for malicious software to be running at the same time undetected.

Banks make their apps safer by using a secure data centre so that bank details are not stored on your phone. Anti-virus software is recommended if you use your smart phone for banking regularly. Barclays offer free Mobile Security Software with their banking app, which protects against virus or Trojan attack. Most UK banks refund losses to victims of mobile fraud as long as reasonable care has been taken.

Contact your network provider as soon as possible if your mobile phone is lost or stolen so that they can block it. Keeping your log in details secure will make it difficult for anyone to access your bank account.

Smart phone banking online will be more secure if apps are downloaded directly from your bank along with any security software the bank provides. Quality security software often includes a remote deletion option which deletes any data stored on the phone if the phone has been lost or stolen. Use a PIN or password to lock your phone when it’s not in use. Ensure that your phone’s browser doesn’t automatically input passwords and usernames. Switch off your mobile Bluetooth when it’s not in use. Avoid logging into your bank account from public networks. Don’t modify your iPhone to permit the installation of unofficial apps that haven’t been provider approved as this takes away some security features. Delete bank text messages when they are no longer required. Banks don’t ask for passwords or log in details via email. Be suspicious of any such email.

Keeping informed and following good advice will help us to be safe smart phone users.

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