Protect Your Personal Information By Protecting Your Mobile Device From Hackers

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Protect Mobile: Using smartphones for banking will become the order of the day as many more millions take to it by 2021. Researchers say that in the next four years, the number of smartphone and tablet users using their devices for banking needs will go up by 53%. Although mobile banking has so far been a secure experience, with the rapid increase in its usage, the threat of identity theft looms large as hackers and cybercriminals would target mobile users.

Although mobile breaches are quite low, cybercriminals can use other techniques of duping people and force them to part with personal information. Therefore, availing identity theft protection service could help users mitigate the risk of identity theft.

Expecting that 3 million people would be using mobile banking within a year, the financial apps would surely be a big attraction for hackers who want to get the most from it. This could mean that there are high chances of more people losing their personal information to hackers and cybercriminals. However, users must learn how to protect mobile devices from hackers’ prying eyes and keep their bank accounts and identity safe. They must first know the techniques used by criminals and hackers and learn about how to protect mobile device.

Types of cyber attacks

Man-in-the-middle attack

During the communication between a mobile app and a financial institution’s server, the app verifies the server certificate to confirm the bank’s identity. Fraudster use man-in-the-middle attacks to eavesdrop in the network traffic by accessing the same public Wi-Fi of the mobile user and tries to send a fake bank certificate to the user. If the app accepts the certificate, then the hacker can access the user’s personal information

Key logger software

Hackers surreptitiously install key logger software in the device, which secretly records all user actions whenever the device is in use.  The software can access the user’s bank details and passwords and pass on the information to hackers.   

Phishing

Phishing is the age-old technique of duping users by convincing them to part with their personal information. It remains highly popular among cyber rogues due to its effectiveness. The technique consists of fraudsters pretending to be a legitimate financial entity that asks mobile users to submit their private bank information.

Protection tips for banking app users

Use approved apps

A lot of apps of the same bank are available in the App Store, but you must be careful in choosing only authentic apps because there are plenty of malicious apps backed by criminals. They lure people to download such apps that pretend to be more convenient but steal personal information.  Download apps only from the approved app store to ensure its authenticity, and you can check with the bank too. Most importantly, you must have enough trust in the financial institution whose app you use.

Avoid using jailbroken devices

Some mobile usersjailbreak their devices to remove factory-set restrictions, thereby allowing them to use any apps beyond what the manufacturer recommends. It could also allow users to remove some of the mandatory apps on the device. Such altered devices are unsafe for mobile banking because jailbreaking may weaken the device’s security and makes it vulnerable to breaches. When you are downloading any app on such a device, there are chances of some malicious software sneaking in and helping criminals to access your personal information.

Focus on the app’s security features

Any standard app of financial institutions come with a set of security features that vouches for its safe use.

Certificate pinning

To prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, trusted apps of mobile banking use certificate pinning. This standard technology ensures that the app bank has a copy of the bank’s security certificate. This would help the app understand that it is truly communicating with the bank’s authentic server and not with any malicious resource.

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security to the bank’s app as it asks for more information in addition to the username and password. It might ask for an OTP sent to the user’s mobile device or ask some security questions that fortify the device’s security.

Innovative log in

Many banks are looking at innovative methods of user verification before allowing them to sign in. They adopt technologies like facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, and retina scanning to verify users and thereby prevent breaches by untrusted entities. Some organizations are even experimenting with authenticating users by monitoring their finger movement across the device. The goal is to make the phone understand that it is you by understanding the way you interact with the device. 

Above all, keep your device up to date to ensure that the security is at its best. It will prevent cyber criminals from trying to break in.

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Karen is a Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible towards her job. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with her friends and colleagues.

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