As technology advances, people find themselves utilizing services that bring ease to their busyschedules allowing everyone to squeeze more time into their day.
Amongst these innovative ideas is online banking, making an appearance on home networks across the nation.
Taking things a step further is the mobile device, which has recently become a computer in the palm of your hand. Smartphones have become the epitome of communication, allowing individuals a variety of applications that can simplify their daily tasks. Now, mobile banking has become an increasingly popular idea.
Mobile banking is not only convenient, but allows for anywhere anytime availability. You can transfer accounts, monitor your account deposits and withdrawals. You can even get alerts about withdrawals or purchases that exceed set amounts. So what’s the downside?
Your money online
Something to consider is that mobile banking helps cut costs and the need for in-house teller services since people can monitor their accounts without having to frequently call or enter a bank. While this is the natural law of economics, it also means that banks have gone to great lengths to influence the use mobile banking. They don’t charge, and are ready to help insure set amounts if your account falls into the wrong hands. Banks have begun working towards making the online world as safe as possible, but they aren’t the only entities involved in a mobile transaction.
Not all services may be on secure networks, making them open targets for hackers and other online theft. Many of the apps currently available aren’t always viable. Some may be scams and others may even be viruses designed to hack your network. As online presence increases, it is increasingly becoming more difficult to separate the good from the bad.
Banks don’t charge, but your carrier might. Some carriers want you to purchase an app or service addition that allows you to check your account, not to mention that the info is downloaded into your phone’s memory. Many of these apps and services may tag extra costs onto your monthly bills, some of which you may not even be aware of until you get billed.
Storing data on your phone also leaves you wondering what happens when your phone gets lost, stolen, or even just turned in when you invest in a newer model. Your personal information is still stored on the phone, leaving it an open target for anybody curious enough to find out what’s on it.
Stealing more than you bargained for
Banking on your phone won’t only result in the possibility of monetary theft. Your identity can also be at risk. Bank account information carries with it a great deal of personal information. This small fact is something that is overlooked when considering that your money at present is at risk. It is also about your potential future accounts. With the information from one account, an outside source would be able to open a credit line or gain access to future accounts.
Mobile banking puts a lot of information up for grabs. Some ways to keep your information safe is to research any apps that you add to your phone. Although your banking app may be from a quality source, other apps or downloads may put your mobile’s data at risk. When using online services, make sure that they are on a secure page or network, usually identifiable by an “https” address. This lets you know that the site is a secure location. Also, consider purchasing security software for your mobile, just in case it is stolen or lost.
They overheard you
Talking and conducting banking on your phone also presents the possibility of someone seeing or overhearing what you’re doing and gathering some of your personal information. This is something that we never stop to consider, mostly because we’re busy doing something else. In public situations, such as standing in line at the market, the person behind you might be curious enough to spot what you’re doing on your phone. Be cautious about accessing important information when in public, especially if you’re entering passwords or account numbers. For these reasons, it can also be useful to regularly change passcodes on your phone.
Remember that hardwired and landline connections are safer than wireless, because there is less opportunity for information to be captured. For these reasons, the stationary or home PC are still amongst the most favored for online banking. Be cautious with your information and take the time to make sure your connections are safe and secure.
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**Photograph ”Moodshot – Mobile Banking” by Star Finanz under Creative Commons Attribution