How To Use Your Bank Account Safely On Mobile?
Currently, we spend more time on our phones than on our computers, which is why we usually use them for basically everything we need. From making video calls to editing quick files or simply browsing the Internet. But, what if we want to use the mobile to manage our bank accounts? Is it really a good idea or are we exposing our personal data without knowing it?
For some people it seems that it is not a good idea to manage the bank account from the same computer with which we send WhatsApp chains or share funny videos, just to give a few examples. The reality is that it all depends on how well informed we are and how cautious we can be. After all, disinformation is the main tool that hackers and other scammers use to appropriate our personal information.
Therefore, we have developed a comprehensive guide to all the tips you should know to use your bank accounts from your mobile phone, in the safest way possible.
Learn how to manage your bank account from your mobile with total security
Whichever method cybercriminals use, you can counter it without having to be a computer genius, just by knowing what the most common scams are and how you can be protected.
Don’t follow any link you see in your inbox
Have you ever heard of Phishing? This is perhaps the most common scam method you will have to face. Probably, without knowing it, you have already been a victim of this type of scam and therefore nothing better than an example to understand what it is about:
It all starts with a new notification, you grab your mobile and see that it is an email from the bank. They are offering you a new service that will help you save a lot of money a year, you just have to subscribe.
To complete the subscription, the next thing you will see is a link that takes you to a page that appears to be from the bank. Of course, to ensure that you are indeed the user of the bank account, you must log in, so you enter your username and password, as usual. You click the enter button but something goes wrong, the page doesn’t load and strangely you still can’t enter, no matter what you do. We are sorry to tell you that you have been scammed.
The email you received was a Phishing; a well-crafted farce to appropriate your user. Just like you, this email reached thousands of users, although some surely could have warned of the danger in time.
There are somewhat subtle details that can betray this type of scam. The key is to always verify the URL and domain of the link. If you have questions, you can leave the mail and go yourself to the bank’s personal page.
This tip works not only for bank scams but for scams on Netflix, PayPal, or any other service you are affiliated with. In addition, it is not exclusive to emails, but to text messages with promotions through SMS or on your social networks, for example.
How to know if it is the domain of your bank?
- Pay attention to the direction of the page, if you see a padlock symbol on the far left it means that you are in a safe place. If it does not appear, under no circumstances do you enter any personal information that is requested.
- To be more secure, click on the padlock, a window will be displayed in which it will appear that the page is secure according to the guidelines of Google. You can give the option to see more details and make sure that it has the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certification, which authenticates the address of the website and encrypts all the information you share through it.
- Then, click on the address and note that it starts with “https”, otherwise it is not safe. In addition, it should appear in green, which means that the keys and account numbers that you write on this page will remain private.
If the link address does not meet any of these conditions, do not hesitate to report the email.
Do not enter your bank account from a public Wi-Fi network
Most public networks are vulnerable, lack the minimum security criteria, and generally have poor router configuration. Also, they usually have a very simple password, which makes the task easier for anyone who wants to spy on the traffic of other users who are connected to this network. Therefore, you should never enter your bank connected to a public network.
The most practical solution in these cases is to connect to the bank through the network of your mobile operator. It is not the best solution but it could help you to get out of any trouble. Instead, you have other more reliable options that we will see next.
Better to use the official bank app
Browsing the Internet can expose our personal data if we are not cautious. Therefore, most banks offer their own applications to guarantee security and peace of mind.
If you use Android, you can easily find your bank’s application on Google Play. Trying to install it from an APK puts your mobile at risk, it could be malware, so we do not recommend it.
Advantages of using the official bank application
They are safer.
Today, banking applications not only use traditional security methods to verify your identity, but they can take advantage of your device’s own security methods, such as fingerprint readers or iris scanners.
You only have to register once.
Depending on the security levels of the app, most likely you only have to register once, and then the password and user are saved if you choose. However, from time to time the keys expire, as always happens with banks. Still, entering your bank user will be much easier and faster from the app.
They are easy to use but they allow you to do many things.
Despite being “simple”, these tools are usually very powerful to manage almost all of the functions available to the bank. In addition, over time they have evolved to be more intuitive and complete, so you have no excuses to use them.
Be careful what you download
Although it is true that it is best to use the official application of the bank, you must be careful, lest you end up downloading a false application. We have already mentioned this point to you but it is not a bad idea to emphasize it. Therefore, here we bring you a couple of very interesting recommendations :
- First, check directly with the bank, through their agencies or their website, if they have a banking application. In general, if they have an application (which is most likely) they will advertise it on their page and through their communication channels with the public.
- If you use Android, go to Google Play, this app store is the safest option to keep us protected from all kinds of malware, such as spyware or any type of virus. The same happens in the case of iOS. But, surely if you visit the bank’s page and indeed it has a mobile application, it will provide you with the link that will redirect you to the Google application store.
- On the other hand, although it is unlikely if you go directly to the store and see that more than one result appears on the bank application, do not worry. What you can do to be sure that it is the correct application is to check who is the developer, see the description of the app, and most importantly; Pay attention to comments from other users who have already tried it, especially negative comments.
- Conversely, if there’s no comment and the description or developer seems to be very suspicious, just don’t download it, it’s the best thing you can do to save yourself a hard time.
What is a VPN and why should you use it?
VPNs are, most likely, the most powerful encryption tool developed to date. Its abbreviations mean Virtual Private Network (Virtual Private Network, in English) and as the name says, they are responsible for encrypting your traffic on the Internet, so that no one can trace from where you are connected or what information you are sharing.
VPNs allow you to hide your movements on the network even from your service provider, but you can also change the reallocation from where you are connecting. Plus, you can evade region restrictions and more. Of course, this enormous potential is of great help to you if you want to feel safer from hackers and other scammers on the net. But there are a couple of things you should know.
Free and paid VPN, which one should you have?
So far we have talked about how wonderful VPNs are, but the reality is that nothing is perfect. As with any service, VPNs must be profitable for them to work, so most are paid. Some will be better and more complete than others, but in general, they do well with what they promise. Also, it is always best to compare options before joining any service.
And if you don’t want to pay for a VPN service, there are also “free” options. Although it is preferable to opt for a reputable paid VPN if you want to use a free VPN to manage your bank accounts.
Using a VPN will keep you safe but don’t trust yourself
In summary, VPN services are a good investment to keep our Internet activity well protected, especially if you must use a public connection, either for your work or because you are traveling and you have to connect from the hotel or place where you’re staying.
But, to avoid misunderstandings … perhaps at this point, you might think that when using a mobile VPN everything is under control, which is partly true, but hackers never miss the opportunity to find weaknesses in the systems. So, as we have repeatedly said, all these security measures are insufficient if you do not handle yourself with a certain caution. Or what is the same, avoid entering pages of dubious origin, do not give your keys so easily. Before doing so, check if the site you are on is safe and if it is indeed the actual page of the bank.
Other tips that could help you protect your bank details
In addition to the above recommendations, there are other very simple tips that you can apply from now on to improve the security of your mobile phone and, above all, your bank information.
Don’t lose your mobile
It seems like silly advice and more than obvious but it never hurts. The mobile phone is usually the master key for much sensitive personal information, in them, we keep photos, videos, documents, and access codes to the bank and other important accounts. So losing them is a serious problem.
The most recommended thing is that you create the habit of keeping it with you at all times, either in your pocket or in your wallet. If you usually leave it on some surface when you get to a place, you are more likely to end up forgetting where you left it or worse, someone to take it while you don’t realize it.
Another very interesting recommendation is that if you plan to party and you know that you are going to take others, try to use an auxiliary mobile and leave the main one at home. Or outright just don’t wear it.
And if in spite of this you end up losing your mobile, don’t take too long to change all the keys you think necessary. They are unlikely to be able to unlock it but there is always that possibility.
Keep the bank app locked up
If you are one of the people who do not use to block the mobile with a security pattern, better start changing your habits. It may be difficult for you to learn the keys but that is no longer an excuse, now you can secure your mobile with lock patterns, entering numerical keys, with fingerprint reader, facial recognition, or with iris scanning. So remembering a sequence of movement or combination of numbers should not be an obstacle for you to protect the information on your mobile.
In addition, you can not only block your mobile but the applications you want . Or even, as in the case of the Xiaomi personalization layer, MIUI, you can easily hide the applications you want so that they are not within the reach of curious eyes. Fortunately, as technology advances, security tools improve.
Don’t believe everything you read or everything they tell you
Cybercriminals will always be looking for new ways to scam people. In the case of professionals, they are able to exploit even the slightest vulnerability in your network, thus making their way to infect your mobile or computer. However, these are less common causes.
On the other hand, most scams usually occur by “social engineering”, or what is the same, when unsuspecting users are manipulated to provide personal information under any excuse. Therefore, we will not tire of asking you to be attentive to everything you see on the Internet and especially in your email or in those messages of dubious origin.
Always verify the source, ask, and reason before providing any information that may jeopardize your privacy. Common sense is your main tool. Still, we must admit that there is a possibility of falling into these traps. If this happens, do not waste time filing the complaint.
Also, another tip that could save you trouble is to have a backup of all your important information in the cloud. There are very complete services, the most common among Google users is Google Drive, although there are also other very complete but not as popular options as Dropbox.
This has been it, we hope that this guide has been useful to you. Also, if you know of any other type of scam or method to be more protected against cybercriminals, do not hesitate to share it, it will be of great help to everyone.