Thanks to technology you can access your bank account with a swipe on your smartphone, or a click of a mouse, but how safe is your money? Before you access your bank account using a computer or phone, you need to understand what security measures are in place to protect your assets. Depending on the scenario, you’ll know when it’s best to reach for your phone or computer.
Adjust for your access point
Stop to think about how you are connected online before you enter your log-in information for your bank account. If you are traveling on holiday or connected to a public Wi-Fi spot, you should use your smartphone’s connection and an official bank app to access your account information. Wi-Fi hotspots are convenient but are not the safest when checking up on your money.
If you are going to use a tablet or laptop, it is better to use a secure private network connection, or VPN, then trusting public Internet channels. Make your bank account more secure by being aware of your surroundings, and avoid logging in to your account while waiting in line.
Keep things official
If you are logging into your account on a computer, be cautious about entering your information on a phishing site. Always try to go to your bank’s official site, and avoid roundabout ways to access your account. Whenever possible, it is often safer to use and download an official app for your banking institution from the Google Play store or Apple store.
Downloading anything from an unsecured site can lead to infecting your device with malware; computers are potentially more vulnerable than smartphones. Make it a point never to access bank account information on a jailbroken phone, as they are more readily hackable.
Stay on top of updates
It may be a buzzkill to wait for an update to finish up on your phone or computer, but it is a necessity to ensure improved security of apps and the OS. Whenever possible, see if your banking institution’s app or OS needs an update.
Use two-factor authentication and change your password frequently to something that is not easily guessed or cracked. If you like to use your smartphone to access your bank account, remember to use a screen lock in case of theft.