Mobile banking has quickly become one of the most convenient ways to stay on top of your finances.
The ease of use and flexibility of opening your Bank Midwest application on your phone to deposit a check, look at account balances and transfer money between accounts is unmatched. Better yet, all of this information is available to you no matter where you are, whether you’re at work, at the grocery store, vacationing in the U.S. or even traveling abroad.
But you must also take security into account while using a mobile device. Threats still exist even when you’re away from a standard computer.
The following are some ways to protect your financials and mobile device from harm.
Lock Up Your Device
Your device should be password protected, no questions asked. Phones have become an important extension of an individual’s life, and as such, there’s sensitive information inside. If someone gets ahold of your device, he or she can have access to emails, receipts, phone numbers and your bank account.
Every phone comes with the option to create a passcode. The combination, which can be four or more digits, has to be entered every time in order to unlock your device. Other passcodes even allow you to draw a pattern in order to unlock.
But if you don’t feel like remembering a combination of digits, you’re in luck. Most phones these days come with a fingerprint scanner. By simply placing the correct finger over the scanner, the phone will unlock.
You should also stay on top of new updates that are pushed out. These include iOS or Android operating system updates, as well as new versions of the Bank Midwest app.
Major software updates help patch up any security holes. Not utilizing the current version can potentially leave your device exposed to threats because old versions of operating systems are not kept current.
The same applies to other mobile apps. If you aren’t using a current version of the app, you may not be able to enjoy the full offerings being offered in new versions. Additionally, app updates often require you to use a certain version number of your operating system. For the Bank Midwest app, you need to be on iOS 8.1 or newer and Android 4.1 or up.
If you don’t want to worry about having to always check for new app versions, most phones have the option to turn on automatic downloads.
The Password Matters
Just as you would do with online banking, your mobile banking app also needs a strong password. In many instances, this phrase is the same one you already use to log into your Bank Midwest account from a computer.
Be sure you have a strong password in place that only you know. Stay away from common phrases such as “123456” or “password1”. A good tip to remember: Utilize capital letters, numbers and special signs.
“Just because you’re banking on your phone doesn’t make you immune to threats.”
Watch What You Click
Sometimes you may receive an odd text message from a number you don’t recognize. That message can then contain a link to a website that may seem suspicious. In these situations, avoid clicking on anything you don’t trust or know.
And if such a message is coming from someone you know, you should let the sender know about the potential malware affecting his or her device.
Just because you’re banking on your phone doesn’t make you immune to threats. By following best practices, you’ll be able to protect yourself against threats of all kind throughout National Cyber Security Awareness Month and beyond.