Safety of Mobile Banking and Mobile Login

February 10, 2014 •

Mobile LoginIt has become a common occurrence to hear of a big name company having passwords stolen or a major security breach. Think Target, LinkedIn, Neiman Marcus, Adobe, etc.

The more we hear about these breaches, the more difficult it can be to trust our information to another app or site. How do we know what’s safe and who we can trust our information to?

A recent analysis of mobile banking apps revealed that 90% of mobile apps from top banks have serious security vulnerabilities. The study, done by security researcher Ariel Sanchez, analyzed 40 apps from the top 60 banks in the world. The biggest gap comes from many apps using non-SSL (non-secure) links throughout the app that are susceptible to hackers.

So how can you keep your information safe?

  • Look for apps the require two-factor authentication (i.e. you login with a password and then must enter another code that is either texted or emailed to you)
  • Keep your passwords unique across apps/sites so that a breach in one doesn’t reveal your information elsewhere
  • Never send your password or account information via email. Your bank should never require this. Any request to do so is likely phishing
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks when you login to your account
  • Consider downloading an anti-virus app for your smartphone, but make sure it comes from a trusted source

Being smart about where and how you transmit your information will help keep it safe. Thankfully many apps have taken measures to help protect our information. Last August, Facebook boosted their mobile login security by requiring all apps to separately ask for permission to post to Facebook. This means you can use the Login with Facebook feature to speed up your login process without having to share your activity with your Facebook following.