Banking via your smartphone or tablet – even your laptop or desktop – has never been easier. A password and a couple of clicks later and you can deposit checks, transfer funds or just make sure you have money in the bank. This also means, however, that if you don’t take proper precautions, it’s just as easy for fraudsters to steal your identity and clean out your account.
You can be on the defensive with these tips from your BBB and FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority:
Password-protect your phone or tablet so that only you can access the information on your device. This will help protect you if your phone or tablet is ever lost or stolen.
Never provide personal information unless you initiate contact with your bank or other financial institution. Financial institutions should not request account numbers, Social Security numbers or other sensitive information through email or text messages. If you’re not sure about a request, contact your bank by calling the number on the back of your debit or credit card.
Avoid banking while on a public Wi-Fi network; if you must access your account, switch to a cellular connection.
Don’t stay “auto-logged in” to your accounts. Even though it’s convenient, it increases the risk that an unauthorized user will access your accounts.
Delete old texts from your bank to reduce your exposure to fraud.
Report lost or stolen devices immediately to your wireless provider and financial institutions.
Start With Trust. For more consumer tips and information, visit bbb.org.