Mobile banking is an increasingly popular way to monitor and manage your money. It wasn’t that long ago that an account deposit or withdrawal required a visit to your bank to complete the transaction. Banking was inconvenient and time consuming. Today, we have lots of options when it comes to financial transactions.  With the advancement of technology, the world is moving towards the cashless economy system. The internet has facilitated people with e-banking facilities. The recent statistics reveal the fact that there has been a tremendous increase in the number of users opting for internet banking.

Now the question is how secure is mobile banking? Could a thief sniff out your bank account information digitally? Is it safe to make financial transactions using an app or text messaging, or by visiting a mobile Web site? Here are certain rules you should follow to make sure your banking information remains safe.

Avoid Short URL’s

You may have heard the term phishing. Phishing refers to the practice of tricking someone into revealing private information. Fishing and phishing are similar concepts — there’s bait involved with both. With a phishing scheme, that bait might be as simple as a text message or e-mail. It may be as complex as a fake Web site designed to mimic your bank’s official site, which is called spoofing. You should never follow a banking link sent to you in a text message or e-mail. These links could potentially lead you to a spoofed Web site

Password-Protect Your Mobile Device

While most mobile money management apps require you to authenticate yourself before getting access to your accounts, it’s always a good idea to add an extra layer of security by putting a password on your mobile phone. This added layer of protection helps keep your sensitive information safe in the event that you lose or misplace your phone.

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Avoid Public Networks

Public connections aren’t very secure — most places that offer a public Wi-Fi hotspot warn users not to share sensitive information over the network. If you need to access your account information, you may want to switch to another network. If you’re using a smartphone or other cellular device, disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to a cellular network is a good solution. You never know who might be listening in over the public network. A software like wireshark can tell what is going inside the network and anyone can scan the packets on public connections.

Avoid Unnecessary Downloads

While there aren’t as many examples of malware out in the mobile device market as there are on traditional PCs, the fact remains that mobile devices are just specialized computers. That means it’s possible for someone to design an app that could try to access your information. One way this could happen is if the app hides a keylogger. A keylogger is a program that records — or logs — keystrokes. Every letter or number you enter into your phone could be recorded. If a hacker pairs a keylogger with some code that either sends off an e-mail or text message at certain times of the day, you might be sending all your keystrokes to someone anywhere on the globe.

Keep Track of Your Mobile Device

Perhaps the biggest risk is also the reason why mobile banking is so popular — mobile devices are easy to carry around everywhere we go. They can contain everything from passwords to contact lists to our calendar appointments. Information like that can be dangerous if your mobile device falls into the wrong hands. Apart from tethering all your gadgets to your body or scrapping all electronics and turning into a luddite, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk. If your device has a digital locking mechanism you should use it. Some devices require you to trace a pattern or insert a PIN. While it might slow you down to have to enter a PIN each time you want to use your phone, that layer of security might be enough to keep a thief from accessing your bank account before you can report your phone as missing.

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Here are some precautions for safe and secure mobile banking

  • Set up a Pin/password to access the handset menu on your mobile phone
  • Register/ update your mobile number and e-mail ID for alerts to keep track of your banking transactions.
  • Delete junk message and chain messages regularly
  • Do not follow any URL in message that you are not sure about
  • If you have to share your mobile with anyone else or send it for repair/maintenance
  • Clear the browsing history
  • Clear cache and temporary files stored in the memory as they may contain your account numbers and other sensitive information
  • Block your mobile banking applications by contacting your bank. You can unblock them when you get the mobile back
  • Clear the browsing history
  • Do not save confidential information such as your debit/credit card numbers,CVV numbers or PIN’s on your mobile phone
  • Do not part with confidential information received from your bank on your mobile
  • Install an effective mobile anti-malware/anti-virus software on your smartphone and keep it updated
  • Keep your mobile’s operating system and applications, including the browser, updated with the latest security patches and upgrades
  • Password-protect your mobile device to protect against unauthorised access. Set up a Pin/password that is difficult to crack
  • Do not enable auto-fill or save user IDs or passwords for mobile banking online
  • If possible, maximise the security features by enabling encryption, remote wipe and location tracking on device
  • Never leave your mobile phone unattended
  • Turn off wireless device services such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS when they are not being used. The Bluetooth can be set up in invisible mode
  • Avoid using unsecured Wi-Fi, public or shared networks
  • Do not use “jailbroken” or “rooted” devices for online banking. Jailbreaking or rooting a device (the process of breaking into the phone’s built-in operating system to control it outside the vendor’s original intention) exposes the device to additional malware and gains administrative or privileged access of OS
  • Only download apps from official app stores such as Apple iTunes, Android Marketplace, Google Play Store and BlackBerry App World
  • Never disclose personal information or online banking credentials via e-mail or text message as these can be used for identity theft
  • Log out from online mobile banking or application as soon as you have completed your transactions. Also make sure you close that window
  • Be aware of shoulder surfers. Be extra careful while typing confidential information such as your account details and password on your mobile in public places
  • In case you lose your mobile phone, please call our 24-hour Customer Care to disable the iMobile application
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Article References : https://www.icicibank.com, https://money.howstuffworks.com