Risks and safety of mobile banking - The Citizen

Risks and safety of mobile banking

Thursday November 8 2018

Kelvin Mkwawa

Kelvin Mkwawa 

In today’s world, time is money and everyone is busy and has no the time to sit in a banking hall hence mobile banking has become an ideal solution for them to keep track of their finances. Managing your money has never been so easy thanks to new banking options like mobile banking. Paying your bills and checking your balance can be as simple as posting your picture to your Instagram feed.

But there is a price to pay for the conveniences the mobile banking offers – the increased risks that your private data and access rights to your financial accounts could fall into the wrong hands. Hence, here is a million dollar question; is it a safe way to manage your money through mobile banking?

Mobile banking is generally secure but the main challenge is from the customer side as customers don’t understand that their phones are vulnerable to attacks just like their notepads and computers. Most consumers do not understand the technology their bank is using but need to feel confident that their financial data is protected. If you are unsure of how secure your financial data is, you are not alone; several studies suggest that many consumers still have security-related concerns when using mobile banking.

Banks have more responsibility to protect your financial data but I would say that you should be the first line of defense of your financial data. Studies show that nearly 40 per cent of smartphone owners do not have a password protecting their phones. If any of those people lose their phone, anyone who picked them could access their banking app and their data, hence it is important to secure your phone at all times. Nonetheless, the best way to protect yourself is to know the risks so this week I will share a few risks of mobile banking.

Poor network reception means poor security

If your phone mobile network drops into the lower range while using mobile banking, the security of your financial data could be at risk.

Poor network reception is not as secured hence vulnerable to attackers who might steal your financial data and intercept your banking transactions.

Wireless networks

It is worth to note that, unlike websites, mobile applications don’t properly encrypt information, therefore, it is not a good idea to access your mobile banking when you are on an unsecured Wi-Fi or public wireless network. If you plan to do banking transactions through mobile banking, you are better off using the secured wireless network as this will help you reduce the risk of your financial data being intercepted by a third party without your authorisation.

Fraudulent mobile apps

In this digital world, there are millions of mobile apps out there for us to use in our daily life including apps from financial institutions. Unfortunately, some of the mobile apps out there are fraudulent apps posing as your bank’s official app and if you unknowingly start using one, the app creators can access your data and abuse it. Therefore, it is strongly advised to download your bank’s app directly from your bank’s website to avoid the scammers.

In conclusion, even though it’s not easy to tell how secure your bank’s mobile banking app is, it is important to know the risks so you can protect yourself. Banks also need to step up their efforts to ensure mobile banking safety for their customers. With that being said, there are few things that consumers can do to help themselves: download your bank’s mobile app through your bank’s website only and don’t access your mobile banking through unsecured Wi-Fi networks and when your mobile network is weak.