As we download more and more apps onto our smartphone and other devices, and gain greater access to mobile and online banking options on the run, it can pose security risks.
A recent CANSTAR survey of more than 2,000 Australians found that 61 per cent of Australians are checking our online banking and mobile banking apps every day or a couple of times each week.
With so many of us now banking this way, there is growing concern over the safety of your money.
This can be avoided by sticking to some relatively simple security steps.
How to keep online and mobile banking secure
1. Change your passwords
Change your passwords regularly and do not use the same password for unlocking your phone as for logging into your mobile banking app.
Did you know that nearly two in five Australians (39 per cent) have never changed their banking password?
It’s understandable, remembering new numbers can make changing them a hassle, but it’s a crucial way to ensure your hard-earned money is safe from intruders.
Don’t have a password or Touch ID to unlock your phone? It’s time!
While it might be easier to answer a call or hit reply on a message, living an un-locked life makes it easier for thieves to access your mobile banking apps.
2. Just hit delete
No bank will ever send you an email asking you to provide your account information by email or online.
Never click through to your bank’s website from an email – always open it in a new, secure browser – that way, you can be sure you’re not redirected to a hoax link.
3. Never use unsecured public Wi-Fi for banking
Many people actually don’t realise that unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots are able to track what you’ve been doing on their Wi-Fi network – sometimes giving out your valuable private information.
4. Always log out
A lot of mobile banking apps don’t automatically sign you out when you close them.
The easiest way to ensure no one can steal your banking details or worse yet, transfer money out of your accounts is to click the ‘logout’ or ‘sign-out’ button.
It might seem like a no-brainer but it’s often a forgotten step.
5. Contact your bank if you lose your smartphone or tablet
Always contact your bank directly if you think there is the possibility of a security breach, no matter how small – especially if your bank uses an SMS text message as a security measure to authenticate transactions.
When we lose our smartphones the usual steps are to locate it or look to replace it.
However, other key steps should be to alert your bank just in case a thief gained access to your phone before you realised it was missing, and of course, to change your passwords.
For the most part, the rise of people using online and mobile banking apps is fostering healthy money habits, but it is always important to stay safe, and be responsible.