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Tips For Secure Mobile Banking Transactions

With technology come convenience and sadly, the associated risks too. Hence, it becomes highly important that we manage these risks wisely to make the benefits of technology weigh more than its repercussions.

Just as technology is making our lives simpler, it also exposes our lives to unintended consequences. After all, these are two sides of the same coin. Banking has moved from the branch to the ATM and from the ATM to the internet and has finally settled cozily in the customers’ hands through mobile banking. This evolution has married the true power of the omnipresent mobile phones with our banking transactions.

The basic version of mobile banking through SMS is rather harmless as it just provides basic account information, like your current balance and your last few transactions, apart from enabling you to undertake non-financial transactions like stop-payments, cheque book requests, etc. So there is not much harm that can be caused by this mode of banking and the only safeguard that you would need is to ensure your phone’s physical safety.

But the more advanced facility of mobile banking, wherein you download a mobile application (app) to your smart phone and use the internet to effect financial transactions like money transfers and bills and utility payments, requires little more care to prevent unauthorized usage and frauds. Though banks have multiple layers of security, like data encryption, in these processes, you also need to ensure certain basic safeguards from your end. Here are some tips to make it a safe experience.

  1. Use a strong password: The app would require a password or a numeric PIN to allow access. Ensure that you do not have obvious passwords like your / spouse / child’s name as your password or your date of birth as the PIN. This makes guess work easier and chances of breaking your security simpler. And do remember to change this password frequently.
  2. Do not give away the password on a platter: It is quite common for people to store their password / PIN on their mobile phone for convenience. This could be the best recipe for disaster. If your mobile is lost, your password goes with it and your account becomes highly vulnerable. Memorize your password and avoid writing it anywhere. So your password should not only be reasonably complicated but easy enough to memorize too.
  3. Avoid public networks: Usage of mobile banking through public Wi-Fi spots like airports, hotels, etc. should be avoided unless it is absolutely essential. Such public networks enhance the risk of data theft.
  4. Use a separate account: If you are still not convinced about the security of mobile banking, you may designate a separate bank account for the same and maintain a low account balance so that even in case of a fraud, your stakes are at the minimum. 

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