Mobile money is a considerable step toward financial inclusion. This is exemplified in the fact that there are now over 290 live services in 95 countries, according to the GSMA State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2019.
The industry achieved a significant milestone in the previous year as well—the number of registered mobile money accounts worldwide surpassed one billion!
Major banking and financial institutions have made it standard practice to issue banking applications for mobile users, so they may transfer money, pay bills, and check account balances. Many e-commerce websites and financial organizations have been utilizing alternative money transfer options as well, like Square’s cash application and PayPal’s Venmo. There’s a good reason for why we’re seeing mobile money gain popularity; it’s quick, convenient, and makes transactions informal.
Having established that, the rise of mobile money has also been accompanied by a rise in cybercriminal activity. Attackers employ a variety of methods to compromise the integrity of mobile banking systems, including, but not limited to, stealing account credentials, using fake applications, snooping, and deploying malicious attacks on networks.
In this piece, we will provide a comprehensive guide to mobile banking security that users can follow when accessing mobile money apps:
Staying Secure When Using Mobile Banking Applications
Despite the investments that providers have made in fortifying their applications, no system is fool-proof. Here are some steps you can take to guarantee your security:
- In order to eliminate the risks associated with fake banking applications, make sure to download applications from legitimate and trusted sources.
- Make it a habit to regularly update your banking app. Cyberattacks evolve every day, and the latest versions of these apps contain fixes for the latest vulnerabilities.
- Keep the banking app’s built-in security features on. These include one-time passwords, idle time-outs, etc.
- Never open attachments or click on links from unknown senders.
- Delete your junk mail regularly to reduce the chances of clicking on malicious links.
Establishing Safe Network Connections
Every point on the network needs to be safe to guarantee the integrity and privacy of transactions. Here’s how you can ensure this on your end:
- Never use your banking app when connected to unsecured Wi-Fi networks in public places.
- When using a mobile browser to access banking or other financial websites, make sure the URL is an https address with a padlock icon, indicating encrypted communications.
- If you have to use a banking app in a public place, use it over 3G, 4G, or LTE. Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to prevent attackers from snooping on your activities.
Protecting Online Financial Accounts
Online banking accounts need to be safeguarded to prevent large-scale losses and data theft. Here are some tips on how to go about this:
- Enable two-factor authentication and install trusted and legitimate authenticator apps too, if available. Typically, the codes required to log in are sent via email or SMS.
- Disable the autocomplete feature in your banking/financial apps or when logging in through a browser.
- Never store your financial account passwords in your browser.
- Never respond to emails or text messages requesting your account number, PIN, or debit or credit card number.
- Make sure to use a strong and unique password for each banking/financial application you use. Use a different password for each. Log out after you’re done with your transactions.
- Always monitor your account activity for anything unusual or suspicious.
Manoharan Mudaliar is a leading cybersecurity professional who offers IT security consultancy services. He has garnered an impressive reputation for delivering tried-and-tested information security strategies and solutions for mobile banking applications.
Get in touch with him for more information about his services.