Is Mobile Banking Safe for Customers? Precautions, Explained

Woman using mobile banking

Source: Getty Images

Kathryn Underwood - Author

As the prevalence of cyber security attacks seems to increase every year, it’s natural for consumers to wonder about the safest ways to do their banking. If you keep your money in a bank, you are already putting some of your trust in that bank. But is mobile banking secure? How can you make sure your accounts are secure?

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According to cyber security experts, mobile banking is quite safe. However, as with anything involving your personal data and financial information, it is up to the customer to practice security precautions.

Woman using mobile banking app

Source: Unsplash/Clay Banks

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Is mobile banking secure? There are some risks.

Generally, what consumers worry about with mobile banking is any kind of risk to their personal information or their bank accounts. Of course, if bad actors gain access to your checking or savings account, they can withdraw all funds.

According to Bankrate, the FBI notes two primary risks to mobile banking customers. First, app-based banking Trojans can lead hackers to install malware on your device. Another primary problem is fake banking apps, which are used to trick customers into entering their login credentials.

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It is important to remember that security risks exist in physical bank buildings as well as digital banking applications. However, there are security measures you can take to ensure your bank accounts and devices are secure while mobile banking.

Follow these security tips for safe mobile banking.

Here are some best practices to protect yourself when doing mobile banking:

  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi.
  • Create a strong password.
  • Lock your phone whenever it is not in use.
  • Use two-factor authentication.
  • Download the Verified Banking app from the bank’s website.
  • Watch out for text or email messages trying to get your information.
  • Use alerts on bank apps.

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A person using a mobile banking application.

Source: Getty Images/Anderson Coelho

Certain precautions are standard practice whenever you are using sensitive information in a digital fashion. For example, avoid using public Wi-Fi in public places, when doing banking or checking credit card balances. Always create and use strong passwords (and use password managers instead of saving passwords on devices).

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Another great security precaution is to download the mobile banking app directly from your bank’s website. said Paul Benda, senior vice president for operational risk and cybersecurity at the American Bankers Association. Bankrate It’s the most secure option because “banks use highly secure, high-end encryption technology.”

Watch out for fishing and smishing.

When you are using mobile banking, you need to be aware of both “phishing” and “smishing”. Phishing is a tactic that hackers use to send email messages that appear legitimate to give users personal information such as date of birth, social security number, username, password, and account number.

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“Smishing” is the same hacking strategy, but done via text message. Whatever type of message you receive, don’t automatically assume it’s from your bank. Look out for any abnormalities in messages claiming to be from your bank (misspelled words, faulty logos) and verify the sender.

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For mobile banking security, don’t click on links in text messages or emails. Instead, navigate to your bank’s app, login and view any messages or information there. Hackers are skilled at creating fake apps and messages that reveal their personal information to users.

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Bank of America

Source: Getty Images/Brandon Bell

Banks like Bank of America have warned customers about the types of requests scammers often send. When doing mobile banking, keep in mind that your bank won’t ask you to “verify account information” via email or text, you shouldn’t ask them to pay in Bitcoin or send money through another payment app.

Here are some ways to ensure you have secure mobile banking features.

Your bank’s mobile banking features should provide security. High-end encryption technology should be used and your app may also employ strategies such as app time-out (automatically logging out after a period of inactivity) and simply locking your debit card.


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