Mobile banking: how safe is it?
Published 12 December 2011 by Daniel Culpan
Managing our finances using our mobile phones can be quick, convenient and available around the clock, and is overtaking more traditional methods of banking. But how secure is mobile banking?
These days, many banks are promoting mobile banking as a safe, convenient way of managing our money, and with so many of us using smartphones these days, the appeal seems to be growing.
However, as The Times reports, technology and security experts disagree on the issue of just how safe mobile banking is, compared with other ways of looking after our finances. Some argue that the rise of mobile malware, and things such as fake 'apps', could leave mobile banking users at risk of being targeted by fraudsters.
But on the other hand, some experts argue that more traditional types of banking aren't completely fail-safe either, and taking practical security measures when using mobile banking should really help people avoid falling victim to 'cyber criminals'.
The GetSafeOnline campaign, which aims to promote online safety awareness, estimates that fraudulent activity targeting smartphones has shot up by 800% in just four months. Security company McAfee says that malware aimed at android phones has grown by 37%.
However, some experts believe that mobile banking technology isn't "inherently" risky: it's a question of using common sense and being vigilant.
Jason Jenkins, of technology review website CNet UK, said: "Mobile banking is not inherently more or less secure than other forms of electronic payment. The same common sense rules apply as when you use your card; try not to lose your phone or tell anyone your password."
A spokesperson for thinkmoney commented: "There are some practical steps mobile banking users should follow to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to criminals. Keep your password safe, never give your personal information out to anyone you don't know and trust, and if you think there's anything suspicious going on with your account, report it to your account provider immediately.
"Anyone who'd like to know more about mobile banking security can read thinkmoney's guide to mobile & online banking for more information."
Have a look at the thinkmoney Phone and SMS services page for information on the mobile account management services we provide.