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Mobile Banking Security
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Smartphones and other mobile devices have become ubiquitous tech accessories allowing us to connect to social media, access current events, read books, listen to music, play games and manage finances. If you participate in any of these activities, chances are you've used mobile apps. Mobile apps are software programs you download and access directly from your smartphone.
Mobile banking apps have changed the way we conduct financial transactions. While mobile banking has enhanced the banking experience, there are precautions that should be taken to protect your identity and finances. The good news is that when compared to other industries, mobile banking apps are ahead of the curve in terms of securing user data.
Data that is sent or received using Bank of the West's mobile banking app is encrypted and employs the same technology used to secure online banking. Encryption scrambles the information sent to and from your device to reduce the risk of third party interception. In addition, when using the Bank's mobile banking service, full account numbers are never displayed in incoming or outgoing text messages.
The following is a list of helpful tips to safeguard your mobile banking experience:
- Keypad lock or password protect your mobile device when it is not in use. Locking or password protecting your phone makes it difficult for fraudsters to access your information.
- Avoid mobile banking when on public Wi-Fi networks. Most public networks are not secure and sharing personal identifying information over the network puts you at risk. To stay safe when mobile banking, disable your connection to the public Wi-Fi network and connect to your mobile company's network.
- Verify that you are using an official bank application. Follow the instructions on bankofthewest.com on how to download the official app. The Bank's mobile app is encrypted.
- Make sure that the app developer is reputable. Hackers have started creating apps that can infect smartphones and other mobile devices with malware. Security apps for smartphones are relatively new and there aren't many on the market. Use caution when downloading all apps. Fraudsters have designed apps that contain keylogger programs that capture your keystrokes. Every number and letter that is entered into your device could be recorded for future use.
- Know where your smartphone is at all times and do not store passwords on your device. It does not take much for someone to steal your phone and start transacting on your account.
- As an added precaution, log out of the app right after use instead of closing it out. This ensures that sensitive information is not stored on your phone.
Remember to use common sense when using mobile banking apps. Do not share account numbers, PINs, passwords or any personal information. Contact your mobile carrier and Bank of the West immediately if your device becomes lost or stolen.
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