WASHINGTON — The number of attacks on mobile devices is growing, in part, as a result of the increased popularity of mobile banking. According to a 2013 survey
by the American Bankers Association, mobile is the preferred method of banking by 8 percent of consumers, a 30 percent increase since 2012. In recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, ABA recommends that consumers take extra precaution to protect the data on their mobile device.
“Mobile banking is incredibly convenient, but customers need to remember that any device used to connect to the Internet is vulnerable,” said Frank Keating, ABA president and CEO. “Customers play an important role in the work that banks do to protect data.”
ABA suggests following these 10 steps to protect your mobile device:
- Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
- Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
- 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.”
- Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps regularly.
- Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
- Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
- 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.
The American Bankers Association represents banks of all sizes and charters and is the voice for the nation’s $14 trillion banking industry and its two million employees. Learn more at aba.com.
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