Money Girl Q&A: Is Mobile Online Banking Really Safe?

Money Girl explains 5 ways to keep your confidential information safe and secure when banking online.

Laura Adams, MBA
2-minute read

Money Girl Q&A: Is Mobile Online Banking Really Safe?

Q. I like the idea of using mobile banking apps on my smartphone and iPad, but I’m worried about security. What tips can you give to make sure I stay safe?

A. Here are 5 tips to keep your confidential information safe and secure when you’re banking on the go:

Tip #1: Lock Your Device

Every device you use for mobile banking should be locked with a password, so a thief can’t get quick access to your personal information. Simply change the settings so you must enter a password to use the device.

Tip #2: Get Safe Apps

Be sure to download banking apps to your device from a safe place, such as the institution’s web site. Never download financial apps from third parties.

Tip #3: Use WiFi Carefully

Many mobile devices allow you to access the internet using WiFi. That’s fine if you’re using a closed, password-protected network, like at home. But never access financial accounts using an open, public network because your data may not be secure. Instead, use your mobile provider’s network to get online if you’re unsure about security.

Tip #4: Change Passwords Regularly

Create strong, unique account passwords that include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters when allowed. For sensitive accounts, change passwords at least every 6 months (and, of course, as soon as you lose a mobile device) so you lock out a hacker who may have already gained access. Check out Tech Talker's advice on how to create and manage super-strong passwords.

Tip #5: Update Your Contact List

If a financial institution sends text messages, enter their short code text number into your contact list. That way, you’ll know if you receive a fake phishing text from a criminal who’s pretending to be from that company.

More Links You Might Like:

8 Tips for Identity Theft Protection
PayPal or Credit Card—Which is Safer?
6 Simple Tools to Protect Your Privacy
5 Tips to Simplify Your Personal Finances


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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.