Grand Rapids, Mi., Nov. 12, 2012 – Banks have been promoting the use of mobile phones and other devices for banking for several years now, but what happens if you lose your phone? Can a thief empty your bank account by tapping a smartphone against yours?
With mobile banking one of the fastest-growing trends in the financial sector, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to take precautions to keep their money safe, including installing antivirus software on phones. Users should take many of the same precautions they would when banking online with a personal computer.
“Mobile banking offers conveniences that many busy people find attractive,” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB president and CEO. “But consumers need to use common sense and strong passwords to be sure their money stays safe, especially if they lose their phones.”
The Federal Reserve estimates that a third of cellphone users will use mobile banking within the next year. Without taking precautions, many users could be opening themselves to potential fraud.
The BBB advises consumers to:
- Install antivirus applications on your mobile device to protect yourself from viruses or malware when you download other applications or content.
- Keep your passwords, personal information and bank account numbers private. Don’t share them with anyone unless you initiate the contact and you know you are dealing with your bank or its mobile application.
- Don’t save passwords, personal identification number (PIN), answers to secret questions or account numbers on your device. Make sure you use strong passwords, which include numbers or symbols in addition to letters.
- Set your phone or other mobile devices to require a password when they are powered up. Never set the device to automatically log in to your bank account.
- Don’t respond to text messages asking for your banking information. Assume that any unsolicited text message is fraud. Your bank will not contact you by sending a text message.
- Notify your mobile service provider and your bank if your phone is lost or stolen.
Remember, you can check a company’s BBB Business Review by going to www.bbb.org or by calling 616-774-8236.