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