Is It Safe to Use Mobile Data for Banking?

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Now it seems many want to know about this: “Is It Safe to Use Mobile Data for Banking?” Well, it is good for you to know all about this topic so you will know how you can use a mobile device for banking.

Is It Safe to Use Mobile Data for Banking?

Also, how you can use it safely. So if you want to know all about the guidelines, then you should keep on reading, and then you will get full details.

Is It Safe to Use Mobile Data for Banking?

Even before the COVID-19 lockdowns, mobile banking was simply taking off. Thirty-three percent of bank customers were simply using a mobile app before the pandemic, according to a survey that was conducted for the American Bankers Association. Today, about 44 percent of bank customers simply use a mobile app.

But is mobile banking truly safe? Bank fraud is also popular with identity thieves, who simply steal personal credentials, usually for financial gain.

Is Mobile Banking Safe?

Cybersecurity experts have said mobile banking is safe, but they urge consumers to take certain precautions.

“If you then download the mobile app from a secure store, that is just as safe as visiting a bank branch,” says Paul Benda, senior vice president for operational risk and also cybersecurity at the American Bankers Association.

Benda also says the safest place for you to download a mobile banking app is from your bank’s website.

“Banks simply use extremely secure and high-end encryption technologies,” Benda says. “We like to say that mobile apps are simply like having a bank branch in your pocket.”

The Types of Cyber Attacks You Should Watch Out For

There are simply myriad ways that fraudsters use to target consumers. But the FBI cites two forms of cyberattacks in particular:

App-based banking Trojans – Is It Safe to Use Mobile Data for Banking?

These are simply hidden in unrelated apps such as games or tools that are simply downloaded by unsuspecting bank customers. These “sideload” apps, which are downloaded from unofficial sources, might simply conceal malware that is dormant until a user launches a legitimate banking app.

Then the Trojan also creates a pop-up overlay that mimics the bank’s login page. When customers simply enter their username and password, they are then seamlessly directed to the legitimate banking app login page, with no idea that they have been simply scammed.

The malware can also be downloaded in a variety of ways, such as SMS (short message service, or text) with a malicious hyperlink,” says Teresa Walsh, global head of intelligence at the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), which simply mitigates cyber threats in financial services. “This type of malware is also actually on sale on the criminal underground marketplace.”

Fake banking applications

These apps simply imitate the real mobile apps of banks and are also designed to trick users into entering their login credentials. The FBI says it is “one of the fastest growing sectors of smartphone-based fraud.”

Should You Use a Mobile Banking App?

If you are worried about using a mobile banking app, you should be aware that security threats exist everywhere, including inside the bank lobby.

“There is the risk that the bank employee will even do something that is illegal, like steal your banking information; this is simply known as an insider threat,” says Donald Korinchak of CyberExperts.com.

With a mobile app, “there are also potential vulnerabilities that are related to the security posture of the app itself—vulnerabilities in code, encryption methods, et cetera—and also potential vulnerabilities related to the transmission of information,” he says.

“In both scenarios, the bank simply invests heavily to ‘bake in’ security,” Korinchak says. Financial institutions also monitor their employees’ behavior and also look for vulnerabilities in their applications that can then be patched before they are exploited by criminals. There are also precautions you can take to reduce the risk.

How to Protect Yourself Against Mobile Banking Fraud

Download a Verified Banking App from Your Bank’s Website.

Many banks feature links to the app stores from their websites to simply help you download the right app. “Your bank should also have available information on what type of mobile app they use, what features are on it, and also what you need for access to it,” FS-ISAC’s Walsh says. “Then, use a reliable app store, simply paying attention to the owner/developer of the app and even whether there are other apps with the same name.”

Talk to your bank to make sure, but you should never download an app found on an open forum.

Make sure your bank uses two-factor or multi-factor authentication.

Two-factor or multi-factor authentication simply requires bank customers to then prove their identity when logging in to accounts by simply providing at least two pieces of authenticating information. This is normally or usually a password or PIN, as well as a confirmation code, sent via text message to their cell phone.

Two-factor authentication vastly increases security, Korinchak says, but isn’t 100 percent secure. “Someone can then gain access to your phone, or someone could intercept the SMS traffic to gain access to the code,” he says.

Use a strong password.

One of the best ways for you to protect yourself is to use a password that contains random upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t ask your browser to remember it for you either; you should use a reputable password manager instead.

“Reputable password managers are also coded in a way that reduces risk to the user and is highly hardened against potential attackers,” Korinchak says. “Most cyber security experts even recommend password manager software.”

Avoid using public WiFi.

When you then log on to a public Wi-fi hotspot, you often get a warning that you are not on a secure network, and also that others may be able to watch your online actions. That’s a strong reason for you not to conduct any financial business using a public network. Instead, use your cellular network or your home wifi to better protect your personal information.

Get smart about phishing and smishing.

Phishing emails often look legitimate, like they really are from your bank or credit card issuer. But ID thieves will use them to trick people into divulging personal information, and they may also contain malware.

Smishing is the same tactic but is simply conducted through text messages. “Users should also be familiar with their banking application in the first place to detect abnormal questions or pop-ups that look slightly different than the usual features,” Walsh says.

Set up alerts via email, text, or the bank’s app.

A quick notification from your bank about transactions on your account can then help you detect potentially fraudulent activity. You can also then address the matter with your bank in a timely manner.

How Banks Can Protect Customers from Cyber Threats

Banks, credit unions, and investment firms invest heavily to shield themselves against cyber attacks.

“I think it’s safe to say banks simply spend billions to protect customer accounts,” says ABA’s Benda. “Due to Regulation E, they are also on the hook if there’s an attack.”

Regulation E limits consumer liability to $50 if an unauthorized electronic funds transfer is then caught by a customer within two business days, and also up to $500 if caught outside the two-day window. Financial institutions are also responsible for everything above that amount.

“Banks have very robust controls in place to control fraudulent activity,” says Benda. “A lot simply depends on consumer behavior, making sure that consumers follow safe practices.”

FAQs

Which is safer: Wi-Fi or mobile data?

Why Is Cellular Data More Secure? Connecting to a cellular network is simply, absolutely safer than using WiFi. Most WiFi hotspots are not secure because the data sent over the internet is not even encrypted. When you simply use secured WiFi, you can then encrypt your data, but it’s still less reliable and also less automatic than a cellular signal.

Is it safe to do banking on an Android phone?

In general, Android phones are simply safe for online banking. The Android, like other cellphone models, can also be used for online banking as long as it is secure in both passwords and in your possession at all times.

Is it safe to use banking apps on mobile data?

The short answer to this question is yes. The long answer is even more complicated. Most malware is simply or still designed to attack traditional PCs. Malware for mobile devices exists, but it is less common and also requires hackers to focus on more specific targets than just a web browser.

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