Tips for protecting mobile devices during cyber security awareness month

Courtesy of American Bankers Association

We’ve told you about our mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, but since October is cyber security awareness month, we want to make sure you know what you can do to help protect yourself when you use your mobile device. At Bank of American Fork, we’ve put precautions in place to help protect you when you’re using mobile banking, but just like you wouldn’t leave your checkbook laying around, you can help with mobile security.

The number of attacks on mobile devices is growing, in part, as a result of the increased popularity of mobile banking. According to a 2013 report by the Federal Reserve, 87 percent of the U.S. population has a mobile phone and 52 percent have smart phones. Of those mobile phone users, 28 percent have performed banking transaction in the past 12 months.

The rise in the popularity of mobile devices has certainly made them a target for cyber-criminals. The types of attacks we’re seeing have generally been used on PCs but are now making their way to other devices. Banks work hard to protect customer information and customers play an important role. Any device used to connect to the Internet is at risk and we urge users to keep safety measures in place.

In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we recommend that consumers take extra precaution to protect the data on their mobile device by doing the following:

• Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.

• Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.

• Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.

• Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”

• Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.

• Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.

• Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.

• Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.

• Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.

• Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.

Remember that banking online can be safe and secure if you follow some of these precautions. Bank of American Fork is committed to your security. To read more about the things that the bank does to help keep you safe in mobile banking, visit us here.

What other tips have you heard for keeping data on your mobile device safe?

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