With the ease and convenience of online banking and mobile apps, it's no wonder many view them as invaluable tools. You can manage your accounts, transfer funds, make payments to anyone, and more, with your computer or smartphone. While online banking and mobile apps are secure, it is important now more than ever, to take preventative measures to protect you and your accounts from scammers.
Here are seven safety features you can implement to help increase the security of your accounts.
- Set up biometric security. Biometric security allows users with compatible smartphone recognition capabilities to log into a mobile banking app with the touch of their finger or a look at their phone. This is known at Touch ID/Face ID for Apple users and Fingerprint Unlock/Trusted Face for Android user. Using forms of biometric security is not only faster and more convenient, it's also safer because only you have those “login credentials.”
- Ensure the platform uses limited login attempts. If you've ever entered your password incorrectly multiple times, you may have received a warning that you will be locked out of your account. This is actually done in your benefit to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. By limiting the number of login attempts, the risk is greatly reduced by locking any potential scammers out of the system for a specific period of time.
- Enable multi-factor authentication. This additional security layer helps address vulnerabilities of a standard username and password login approach. With two-factor authentication, you'll be asked an additional piece of personal information unlikely to be known by someone else, such as your mother's maiden name, the model/make of your first car, or a temporary code delivered via email or text.
- Use card controls. Many financial institutions are now offering the ability to control and manage when, where, and how your cards are used. You can set specific controls that match your spending habits, limit transactions based on location, and set threshold amounts. Additionally, you can receive instant notifications so you’re immediately aware of a purchase or if your card is being used without your knowledge or consent.
- Opt into email, text, or push alerts. Whenever a transaction is made on your account or the balance drops below a certain level based on your thresholds, you can set up and receive alerts via email, text message, or push notification. You’ll be able to verify all account activities are accurate and alert you of fraudulent and unauthorized charges quickly. If you notice any unusual activity, immediately contact your financial institution to dispute the charge and protect you against further fraudulent activity.
- Opt for eStatements. Reduce the possibility of mail fraud and identity theft by receiving your statements through online banking or a mobile app. When bank statements are issued through the mail, there's an increased likelihood they’ll become lost or intercepted in the mailing process. With personal information attached, anyone who stumbles upon the paper statement has access to your information. With eStatements, your account information is protected by an extra layer of security, since it can only be accessed after you log into your account(s). eStatements also allow you to double-check charges and payment history with the ease of your computer or phone. This eliminates the need to file or shred your paper statement to keep your personal identity safe.
- Use Bill Pay. As the same holds true for eStatements, you can reduce your chances of identity theft by paying bills online through online banking or a mobile app. When you use a bill pay system, you become less of a target for hackers because your payment information is protected by the same standards that secure your online account.
With today’s on-the-go environment, online banking and mobile app services are a great resource and tool to manage your finances. As technology continues to evolve and improve, it’s important to stay up-to-date with all the latest strategies to fight hackers. By incorporating these features and diligently monitoring your account activity, you can keep your money safe!