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Mobile Banking Security Tips

With online and mobile banking on the rise, it's only natural that security be on the minds of both financial institutions and customers.

Is mobile banking a secure way to bank? In short - yes. Fannin Banks mobile banking offers the full encryption and security suite that is utilized for our traditional (desktop) online banking. However, as with most things, as technology gets more advanced you can never be too safe.

There are certain precautions you should keep in mind when opting to go mobile.

  1. Lock up your phone. Make sure that your phone automatically locks after not being used for a specified period of time and if possible require a strong alphanumeric password to unlock the device. This will help prevent unauthorized users from accessing the data and resources kept on your phone if lost or you're not there to supervise their use.
  2. Wipe your device. Learn how to remotely wipe your mobile device. If your device is ever lost or stolen, you should know how and be able to remotely wipe it - which means removing all of your personal data and restoring it to its factory state. iPhones, iPads, BlackBerries and Windows 7 devices come with this capability included in their operation systems, and you can download Android apps that will do it as well. It's a good idea to learn the steps for remotely wiping your device and to write them down somewhere easy to find. This way, if your device were ever lost or stolen, you won't be wasting valuable time trying to figure out how to wipe it, you will already know how.
  3. Check the source. It's only natural to go to the iTunes store or Android Market when you are looking to get a new app. However, non-reputable people are putting apps out there every day, for the purpose of phishing consumer information. It's always better to start with your banks website to make sure you aren't being scammed.
  4.  Say no to public Wi-Fi hot spots. While enjoying your coffee at the local coffee shop might sound like a good time to check your account balance, you might want to think again. Most public Wi-Fi hot spots are not secure, which means anyone connected to the hot spot could monitor what you are doing in the hot spot. Only use secure Wi-Fi (encrypted wireless communications) or your carriers 3G or 4G data connection. It's also a good idea to disable Wi-Fi whenever it's not in use. This reduces the chance of accidentally connecting to an unsecured or suspect network and saves the life of your battery.
  5. Bluetooth can be harmful. In public areas, others can detect your phone and access it through Bluetooth. If that happens, you will be sent a message alerting you. However, it's often safer to turn Bluetooth off or put it in non-discoverable mode to render them invisible to unauthenticated devices.
  6. Take advantage of security features. You should always take advantage of any security features offered by your mobile device, mobile carrier, or bank. By not using security features, it leaves your personal and financial information open to anyone that may be looking for it.
  7. Don't send personal information via SMS (text messaging). Regardless of the situation, NEVER send personal information, (PIN, account number, social security numbers, passwords, ect.) via SMS. SMS is not encrypted, so your bank will not send personal information via SMS, and your bank will never ask for this information via SMS.
  8. Always log out. When you are finished checking your balance, transferring funds between accounts, or paying a bill, be sure you logged out of your account. As part of our security features Fannin Banks mobile app and web page will log you out after 3 minutes of inactivity. You should never leave it to chance. A lot can happen in 3 minutes.
  9. Keep an eye on your phone's performance. If you download an app, and your phone starts performing differently (for example responding more slowly to commands or draining its battery more quickly), that could be a sign of malicious code and it is probably best to take your device to your carrier to have the phone fixed.
  10. Stay updated. Just like your desktop or laptop, mobile devices need updates to patch vulnerabilities and fix software issues. Check your mobile carrier or device manufacturers

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