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| Education and Financial

04/08/14

Bank on it: Mobile banking sounds convenient but is it safe?

The days of dodging cars, weaving in and out of traffic and sprinting to your bank before 5 pm in the hopes of getting a check cashed are all but history.
Today's banking is sleek, savvy and convenient.
No more stuffing envelopes with checks or even having direct contact with bank employees or tellers.
Need money moved from one account to another? Do it online.
How about that paper check that isn't already set up to be directly deposited into your account? Just snap a picture on your mobile banking app on your tablet or phone and deposit it directly from there.

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What sounds like "Star Wars" when it comes to banking actually has become the norm. But with all the identity theft permeating through retailers and debit and credit cards being constantly used, one has to wonder quite frankly just how safe online banking truly is.
Paying bills online or transferring money doesn't seem to bother consumers as much as the idea of depositing a check over the phone. One important tip as far as logging into your online banking and depositing checks over a phone or tablet is making sure you do so over a secure internet connection, preferably at home through your modem and router that is password protected. Doing so on a router that isn't or a mobile hot spot puts you at risk. The same sentiment rings true when you log in on your phone or tablet, which isn't advisable unless, again, you have access that is secure.
And you definitely want to make sure to log out once you've completed all of your banking and transactions. That is easily the safer alternative to simply closing the window and logging off your computer.
Studies have shown that hackers go toe to toe with banks on a regular basis, but that seems to only increase the resolve and technology implemented by your financial institution. Banking, when it comes to having your account hacked into, also is a little different in that your bank protects you from those funds that go missing and have to cover your losses if it truly isn't your own doing.
Hackers have this practice of stealing your money and identity down to a science, and that includes fashioning web sites that looks identical to that of your bank. And these hackers probably will try to get in touch with you via email, so you might want to verify through your bank that these emails are legitimate before you click on anything.
As a bank customer and online consumer, you have to make smart choices with your debit and credit cards and truthfully anything you do banking wise online. Blaming your bank or credit card company might not be entirely fair if you're not heeding the basics when it comes to using the internet in conjunction with banking.
Technology often breeds laziness, and not keeping a close eye on how you're using gadgets and devices while banking puts the onus squarely on you, not the bank.

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