How to stay safe when mobile banking

2 August 2022

Using mobile banking is now a universal part of modern life in the United Kingdom.

According to research from Statista, a huge 93% of adults in the country use online banking. Our mobile phones account for the largest part of that.

Banking apps and digital wallets have almost eradicated the need to carry cash. But they also provide opportunities for scammers to take advantage in times of low vigilance.
So how can our loved ones and we stay safe from hackers and scammers? Let’s take a look.

Create a strong passcode
Try to avoid using a code that matches personal details that are easier to locate, like your or family members’ birthdays.

Similarly, if you can use a password, make it something that is memorable, but not directly linked to you and it will make it harder for others to crack.

Use biometrics
Even better than passcodes and passwords. Be sure to utilise the full range of security features already on your phone out of the box. That might be fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, or speech recognition.

These keep your apps secure. They also come in handy if thieves simply try to rob your phone. The biometric barrier will stop them from gaining access to your banking details.

Avoid using public networks
If possible, wait until you are at home to use mobile banking apps. Criminals often snoop on public networks in an attempt to find sensitive information, like bank account details.

If using public networks is unavoidable, using a VPN will give you an added layer of protection. You can mask your activity by downloading an Android VPN on your mobile devices as well as using it for other operating systems, such as iOS or Linux.

Ensure you’ve logged out when finished
Most banking apps will log out automatically when you close them, but it never hurts to be absolutely certain.

When you’ve finished using the app, make sure that you log out before shutting it down and locking your phone. If you leave it open, it may offer your details to prying eyes, or your phone could be snatched.

Monitor your statement often
Keep an eye on the incomings and particularly the outgoings of your account.

If something has gone out of your account and you don’t recognise it, contact your bank immediately. Most high-street banks have specialist hotlines to deal with instances of fraud. They may even be able to assist you in getting your money back if you can catch it quickly enough.

Be wary of emails and text messages purporting to be from your bank
Phishing is when criminals send messages to people while pretending to be someone or something else – like your bank.

It remains the most-used scam in the UK, so treat any messages that say they’re from your bank with caution. Particularly pay attention to any that are sent with links – you can always contact your bank directly to check the authenticity of these.

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