Smartphone Banking and Its Risks

Previous to smart phones, users had to have access to either a laptop or a computer to access online banking services. This isn’t the case anymore as manufacturers like Apple, Samsung etc. have brought us Smartphones that are almost as powerful as computers and have the benefit of being so small that they are hardly any larger than normal phones. They provide full connectivity and as a result of this many people choose to use these devices for their online banking needs.

Unfortunately, very few people know that despite the Smartphone’s functionality, it fails to deliver on the security aspect of online banking which we all know is very important. A recent survey by ITWorld suggested that 89% of Smartphone users were unaware that apps running on their phones would transmit data about a user like their account numbers, PINs etc without the knowledge or consent of the user. A shocking 91% of Smartphone users weren’t aware that apps can be infected with malware and viruses that are designed to steal banking details.

Computer users are generally knowledgeable in terms of computer maintenance and safe computing practices. There would be anti-virus software running, regular scans, regular cache clearing and changes in passwords every so often. Only sophisticated hackers or malware can penetrate regular computers with the basic security regiment. It often means that hackers have to spend more time trying to infiltrate normal computers and this will ultimately means that their time isn’t justified so they are forced to move on.

As evidenced here, the issue is that Smartphone users aren’t accustomed to using security apps like anti-virus scanners, security protocols and even regular maintenance like they do on regular computers. The majority of Smartphone users will use the phone and forget that it is just as vulnerable to malware like an unprotected computer. Most regular users would not even dream of accessing their online banking facility if a computer is potentially vulnerable but wouldn’t give it a second thought if they are using an unprotected Smartphone. oppo a53

Here are some things that users can do to keep their online banking experience safe:

– Many banks have recognized the issue with Smartphones and have taken the step to introduce their own apps for mobile users. These apps run independently of browsers and have all the required safety protocols in place. We recommend that users use these apps and download them directly from the bank itself or from a reputable app store for your phone, e.g. IPhone store or Android Store;

– Having said that, don’t be the first to try new apps from banks. It has been shown that the newest apps sometimes have security glitches that have to be patched with later upgrades. Give it a good 4-5 months before using the app to let the bank sort it out;

– Be careful where you place your phone and also be weary where you use it. Don’t leave your phone in a public place where people can install malware without you knowing. Public access Wi-Fi is inherently unsafe. The better option would be to have a secure wireless network that requires a security key.

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