Mobile banking experts like Dan Schatt say that people often make mistakes when using their cell phones for banking. Here are ten mistakes to avoid.
1) Not changing passwords regularly
If you use your debit or credit card on the Internet, be sure to change your password regularly. Hackers often try to break into accounts by guessing user names and passwords, so you want to make it harder for them by changing your password frequently.
2) Giving out PINs too easily
Avoid using your debit or credit card PIN at all costs unless you are on a secure website. Hackers know these numbers and try to find them by looking over shoulders at keypads, through hidden cameras, or finding discarded receipts with the PIN written on them. It’s safer to use your debit or credit card on websites that require passwords only.
3) Using the same password for all accounts
Don’t use the same password on more than one account. That’s because if hackers get into one of your accounts, then they will try that username and password combination on other sites where you have an account.
4) Using insecure public Wi-Fi
If you must use a public Wi-Fi connection (e.g., in an airport or restaurant), avoid doing things like online banking or making any transactions at all on that computer. It’s better to wait until you’re home, where your data is safe and secure.
5) Forgetting to log out
It’s a good idea to make a habit of logging out of your mobile banking apps after you’ve completed a browsing session. That way, if you lose the phone or someone steals it, nobody else will be able to access your mobile banking site and pretend to be you without your password.
6) Not using two-step verification
Make sure that your bank offers two-step verification so that when you log in from an unfamiliar device, they’ll text or email you a code that you’ll need to log on successfully. Two-step verification improves security immensely by requiring something that only the user knows (the password) and something only the user has (a special code). Hackers would need both parts to get in, so you’ll be safe if they don’t have them.
7) Using weak passwords
Don’t use things like your name or year of birth for passwords. There are programs that hackers can buy by the thousands to try all the most common words and numbers against every site on the Internet where accounts are possible. It’s better to go with long but seemingly random strings of capital letters, small letters, numbers, and symbols (like “L#v3Ly_p@55w0rD”) instead.
8) Sharing accounts
Be aware that all apps on your phone share data about you with an array of companies. So if you want privacy when using mobile banking services, it’s probably best not to install any apps on your mobile device.
9) Viewing mobile banking on public computers
It’s never safe to view any sensitive material over public computers, like those found in libraries or internet cafes. If you must do this, then use antimalware software before logging into your bank so that hackers can’t install keyloggers or other tools to steal your login credentials.
10) Leaving devices unattended
Hackers can install malware onto unpatched machines by attaching a USB thumb drive and waiting for somebody to insert it into their computer. This is why it’s always best practice to keep your laptop with you when you’re out of the house, especially if open Wi-Fi connections are available.