How to keep your information safe on banking apps

Mobile banking apps are a relatively new way to manage your bank account remotely from your phone. Mobile phone banking, via text messages and calling your bank, was introduced around 10 years ago and was actually found to be safer than online banking.

But mobile banking apps for your mobile are completely different. They're programmes and applications designed to work from your phone, not from the browser. Since most banks don't allow you to access your account online from your phone, most of us turn to banking applications. They allow a faster and more secure connection than normal mobile banking and developers and continually adding new features to banking applications - but are they really safe to use?

Not too long ago developers discovered that the iPhone was storing financial information from users using banking apps. The information wasn't secure and could have easily been accessed by hackers. Luckily, banks and developers increased security measures on banking apps to prevent this from happening again - this has so far been the only security incident with banking applications. But if you're still concerned about your security there's a few steps you can take to keep your information safe:

  1. Protect your mobile phone. Should you phone ever be lost of stolen this can be an open book for someone to access all your information. You should protect your phone with a password and download a handy application - available from the iPhone store and Android market - which is designed to wipe all data from your mobile with a single text message code set up by the software. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can use this code remotely to wipe all data - including applications - from your phone.
  2. Check your connection. Never use banking apps on a public WiFi connection. Only use a connection you are sure is secure, or one you have set up security encryptions on yourself.
  3. Be cautious with applications. It can be tempting to download all the new handy features for your banking app or other applications, but use discretion when doing this and only download well-known developer applications, or approved applications, to avoid downloading malicious software.
  4. Don't get phished. Phishing is when a banking customer willing gives their information to another source, such as a website or responding to a text message, asking for their information. Your security answer, password or other financial information will never be requested from a bank via text message and you should only type your account number or security information onto the banking apps, in part (never normally your full password or security answer).

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