Mobile phone banking is quickly being adopted as the newest way to keep track of one’s finances. It’s easy to see the attraction; we nearly always have our mobile phone on our person, so that means we can check our bank balance at any time, no matter where we might happen to be. That convenience, and the general trend of using phones rather than computers for a multitude of life’s tasks, means that this new banking channel looks set to become mainstream very rapidly. However, consumers need to be aware of the importance of maintaining the security of their bank details, so let’s look at how to keep safe with mobile phone banking.
Create robust passwords/passcodes:
Some banks may choose to allow customers to use the same security details for mobile phone banking as they already use for Internet Banking. If that’s the case, then it just reinforces the importance of making sure that those login details are ones that won’t easily be guessed or discovered by other parties. Other banks may require customers to create a brand new set of security credentials that are to be used only for access to the mobile phone banking service. Again, the key here though is to ensure that you set up passwords and passcodes that you will be able to remember but which others won’t be able to guess.
Never divulge your login details over the phone or in response to an e-mail:
The only time you should ever be asked to enter your login details is when you navigate to the bank’s website or to their mobile app. If you receive an e-mail asking you to provide your security details, then ignore it. The chances are that it is from a fraudster. Such scams are referred to as phishing scams and are an attempt to fool you into giving away your valuable login details. If worried, phone your bank to report the e-mail. Similarly, if you receive a phone call, from someone purporting to be from your bank, who asks you to provide your security details then hang up the phone as it is again likely to be fraudulent. Banks go to great lengths to communicate the fact that they never ask for security details over the phone.
Be wary for shoulder surfers:
When you type your card PIN into a cash machine or a shop card device, the chances are that you are diligent in ensuring that no-one can see the numbers that you are typing. This is a common sense precaution to make sure that no-one can steal your card and then enter your access details. Similarly, if logging into mobile phone banking from a public place (such as a train or pub), it’s prudent to make sure that no-one is paying undue attention to what you’re typing!
Report the loss of your phone immediately so that access can be blocked:
In the event that your phone is stolen, then you should still be ok as the thief would have to work out what your security details are in order to access your mobile phone banking service. However, it’s not worth taking any chances so the sensible thing to do is to phone your bank and ask them to put a stop to your mobile phone banking service. If you subsequently retrieve your phone, or get a new one, you can easily re-register.
Mobile phone banking is a great way to keep track of your finances, particularly given the fact that it often includes the ability to get text alert updates. Taking some simple security precautions should mean that you can use it with confidence.