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6 Guidelines to Protect Your Money and Mobile Banking Apps

by Vanessa Waithera
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Mobile banking has gained enormous popularity over the past ten years, largely as a result of how convenient it is. Even though I don’t remember the last time I entered a banking facility, I often conduct transactions from the comfort of my couch using my different bank accounts. But there is a big risk associated with this convenience. Your account information and transaction data must travel from your phone to the servers of your mobile money provider when you make a transaction from a mobile device.

A potential gap is created by this. Information about your account could be obtained if someone were to intercept this data as it is being transmitted from your device to the financial institution. With that knowledge, they could access your account and make money transfers.

Take extra security measures if you wish to continue taking advantage of mobile banking’s ease without compromising the security of your funds. The following advice can help you safeguard your mobile banking apps.

1. Apps for mobile banking should only be downloaded from official websites

By making fraudulent banking apps that appear to be genuine ones, scammers can simply obtain your account information. The app’s criminal developers obtain your information when you enter your login information, which they then exploit to gain access to your account and take your money.

Never download a mobile banking app you’ve found by searching on Google or another public forum to be sure you’re downloading the official apps. Visit the bank’s official website instead, and either immediately click the download button or use the link the bank has provided.

2. Use Strong and Unique PINs

As their mobile money personal identification numbers, many people utilise their birthdays, enrollment numbers from their respective schools, and other similar information (PINs). While you can avoid having your account locked out by remembering these numbers, others can easily guess them as well.

Put it this way in your mind. On one of your social media sites, you most likely have your birthday year. Some of your old classmates are aware of your school entrance number. These are the first numbers someone with access to these details would try if they intended to break into your mobile money accounts.

Use a PIN that is difficult to associate with you to make life difficult for hackers. Numeral series like 1234, 5678, and others should also be avoided. Recurring numbers, like 0000 or 5555, are also applicable. Your money is more secure if someone can’t easily figure out your PIN.

Avoid using the same PIN for all of your mobile money accounts as well. The money in the other accounts is thus still secure, even if someone manages to access one of your accounts.

3. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Make sure you’ve set up 2-factor authentication for your account if your mobile banking app enables it. By forcing you to input an additional one-time pin (OTP) in addition to your login PIN or password, this adds an extra layer of security to your account. Without access to your phone or email, which receives the OTP, someone could still access your account and start transactions even if they had your PIN.

4. Avoid Public Wi-Fi

To log into your account and conduct transactions, many mobile banking apps require an internet connection. It can be very tempting to use the free Wi-Fi hotspots offered in places like cafes, malls, and the like when you need to conduct business there. When keeping you online while you’re out and about, public Wi-Fi is not very secure. Public Wi-Fi networks can fail to encrypt your data before transmission, leaving you open to network surveillance.

In a man-in-the-middle attack, hackers can also put themselves between you and the Wi-Fi network, intercepting your data before it reaches your bank’s servers. In some circumstances, the public Wi-Fi network can be a malicious hotspot set up by someone attempting to steal your data.

It is strongly advised against using your mobile banking apps while connected to public Wi-Fi networks in order to avoid these risks. Always use mobile data from your network provider if you need to do business while you are not connected to your reliable home network.

5. Watch Out for Phishing and Social Engineering Scams

Scammers frequently use this method to discover your mobile banking PINs and information. They will contact you via text or email, posing as a bank or mobile money representative, and ask you to log into your account to resolve some “problem.” Frequently, a URL where you can log in will be included with the message. Your login information will have been made available to scammers if you click the link and enter it.

As an alternative, the con artists will call you and tell you the same thing: that there is a problem with your account that has to be fixed. However, in this instance, they will provide you instructions on how to enter a few codes on your phone to resolve the problem.

The secret is to watch your back closely. Don’t believe anything you read in an email or text message that appears to be from your mobile money provider. Verify the sender’s address to be sure it is the correct one for your bank. If you’re unsure, disregard the SMS or email and get in touch with your bank via one of its authorised methods.

In a similar vein, if a caller claims to be from your bank, don’t enter any codes on your phone or divulge any information about yourself or your account. Hang up and contact the bank through its appropriate channels or go to the closest physical branch if you truly think there is a problem with your account.

 6. Set Up SIM Swap Protection

Swapping the victim’s SIM card is another method that fraudsters frequently employ. Here, scammers hijack your communications by switching your mobile SIM card with a SIM card under their control. Then, they access your mobile money accounts or OTPs that your bank has sent to your mobile number using the new SIM card.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to choose between ease and security while accessing your money. With these suggestions, you may continue to take advantage of mobile banking’s ease without worrying all the time that someone is going to steal your hard-earned money at any moment.

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