Banking through your mobile phone is catching on fast, with a third of U.S. cell phone users expected to try mobile banking over the next year.
But how safe is it? What happens if you lose your cell phone or if someone steals it? Can they empty your bank account simply by tapping their smart phone against yours?
The BBB advises consumers to be smart about mobile banking, and these six tips can help:
- Install antivirus applications on your mobile device to protect yourself from viruses or malware when you download other applications or content.
- Keep your passwords, personal information and bank account numbers private. Don’t share them with anyone unless you initiate the contact and you know you are dealing with your bank or its mobile application.
- Don’t save passwords, personal identification number (PIN), answers to secret questions or account numbers on your device. Make sure you use strong passwords, which include numbers or symbols in addition to letters.
- Set your phone or other mobile devices to require a password when they are powered up. Never set the device to automatically log in to your bank account.
- Don’t respond to text messages asking for your banking information. Assume that any unsolicited text message is fraud. Your bank will not contact you by sending a text message.
- Notify your mobile service provider and your bank if your phone is lost or stolen.
For more consumer tips or to check out a company’s BBB Business Review, go to www.bbb.org.