Juniper Research, which serves the digital technology industry, predicts that more than 3 billion people worldwide will be banking on a mobile device by 2021. eMarketer, another digital marketing research firm notes that 115.6 million folks in the U.S. already use mobile banking at least once a month.
If you are one of the millions of mobile banking advocates, you must have occasionally wondered just how safe and secure is this app-based technology? Is convenience worth the risk of exposing your bank accounts and essential financial transactions to a hacker?
“From a banking perspective, mobile services offered directly from banks and downloaded through APP stores are highly secure and utilize a variety of technology to protect end users from any outside interference,” said Legacy Bank Chief Information Officer Chad Pfeif. “Safety is always the primary concern for finance providers large or small. Banks across the country are investing in security and watching daily for any rapid change in technology that could put users at risk,” added Pfeif.
“With so many different mobile banking apps and varied types of technology, it really is difficult for someone to hack into a person’s mobile account,” commented Pfeif. “Actually, the biggest security risk faced by mobile banking users comes from the user themselves. What you do and don’t do on your own to protect your account from being compromised matters. It’s no different than taking precautions to protect your home from intruders.”
According to Pfeif, security starts by downloading a registered mobile banking app through an iPhone or android app store. Interested users can typically find information about how to access their bank’s app on any sales literature or social media promotion offered by their bank. Link’s to download secure banking app’s can also be generally found on bank websites.
“It just takes a small amount of effort to become a diligent mobile banking user. A few easy precautions like password protecting your mobile device, using complex passwords, and not banking while on public WiFi can easily counter most of the more popular techniques used by unscrupulous hackers,” Pfeif adds. “These measures take just a few seconds but go a long way toward denying anyone access to your money and financial information.”
He cautions against following a link or any information that is sent to you via text message or email to access your bank account. Conversely, never text or email your account information or password to someone. Banks will not ask you to access your account through these methods. If you do text or email private account information, you may have given access to your bank data to people you don’t want to have it.
Chad Pfeif is the chief information officer of Legacy Bank with 13 years in banking. Pfeif completed the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado and oversees nine Colorado branch locations. He is an active member of his community and takes pride in being a resident of Pueblo County.
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