According to a 2013 report by the Federal Reserve, 87 percent of the U.S. population has a mobile phone and 52 percent have smartphones. Of those mobile phone users, 28 percent have performed banking transactions in the past 12 months. With the increased use of mobile devices, especially for banking, it's important to use common-sense steps to protect yourself and the important information on your mobile device.
"FNCB works hard to protect mobile customer information through the same industry leading standards we employ for online banking, but there is no substitute for the role a consumer plays in safeguarding their information," said Teri Surma, FNCB Vice President, Operations Officer. "Any device used to connect to the internet can potentially be compromised and we encourage users to keep safety measures in place."
In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, FNCB recommends that consumers protect the data on their mobile device by doing the following:
· Lock your devices. Set your phone or tablet to automatically lock when not in use, and use a unique password to unlock it.
· Log out completely. When you finish a mobile banking session, always manually log out.
· Avoid banking on public Wi-Fi networks. Switching to a cellular network is a better solution.
· Protect your device. Install mobile security software to protect your device from viruses, malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer.
· Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary "permissions." Only download banking apps from trusted sources such as iTunes App Store or Google Play.
· Download the updates. Keeping your apps updated will help close any security holes.
· Avoid storing sensitive information. Never store passwords or a social security numbers on 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 your old device, be sure you wipe it clean 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.
"By following these simple tips, consumers greatly increase their level of protection," added Surma. "They are basic common-sense ideas that create a safe and secure cyber environment."