Better Business Bureau warns consumers that the dangers of mobile banking can outweigh the convenience and ease if proper usage is not employed.
The Federal Reserve estimates that within the next year, one-third of cell phone users will utilize mobile banking. Safeguarding personal account information will be more important than ever.
Most financial institutions now offer various mobile banking services:
- Dedicated smartphone apps allow users to perform a range of banking transactions, from depositing a check by taking a picture of it to using built-in GPS hardware to locate nearby ATMs.
- Mobile versions of regular banking websites load quickly, offer much of the same functionality and are easier to view on smartphone screens.
- Short Message Service or SMS banking allows users to send text messages which a computer reads and responds to automatically. For example, sending the message “BALANCE” will return a text with current account balances.
Dial in on tips from BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington:
- Don’t follow links. Never click on links in unsolicited emails or on unfamiliar websites; phishers attempt to collect personal information, putting users at risk for identity theft.
- Avoid public networks. Only connect to secure wireless networks when conducting important transactions to avoid unprotected hot-spots.
- Only use officially authorized applications. With the recent increase in mobile malware and viruses, ensure that application publishers are authorized by official financial organizations.
- Keep devices secure. Always lock mobile phones and change passcodes frequently.
Bank on bbb.org for help protecting personal information.