As more people continue to use smart phones and tablets, cyber criminals are targeting those gadgets more frequently. According to a report by the Federal Reserve, 43% of smartphone users say they have used mobile banking in the past 12 months.
"NBC safeguards customer information, but it's important for users to take steps to protect themselves and prevent sensitive data from being compromised. It's easy to forget that your mobile device is vulnerable, but any device connected to the internet is at risk."
-Danielle Smith, SVP Compliance, HR, Security & Training
Here are 12 ways you can take extra precautions to protect your data.
- Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This makes it harder for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
- Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
- Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
- Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
- Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
- Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords, credit card information, or a social security number on your phone.
- Tell the bank immediately if you change your phone number or lose your phone.
- Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. Be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
- Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren't very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) app to secure and encrypt your communications when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. (See the Federal Trade Commission’s tips for selecting a VPN app.)
- Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
- Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.