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12 ways to protect your mobile device and the info on it

Senior man with his daughter using digital tablet

For many of us, mobile devices are an essential part of our day. Using a bank app to check account balances, monitor activity, pay bills and photo deposit checks is convenient, but performing such sensitive activities on a phone means we have to be vigilant in keeping that information secure. It can be beneficial to use the app’s security alerts and settings as part of your fraud protection approach. The American Bankers Association also recommends following these tips to help keep your information – and your money – safe.

  1. Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
  2. Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
  3. Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
  4. Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
  5. Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
  6. Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a Social Security number on your mobile device.
  7. Tell your bank immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
  8. Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings, especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
  9. Delete the information off your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
  10. Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. Be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
  11. Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren’t very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.
  12. Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately. You can call our Customer Care Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800.791.8633. For more helpful advice about protecting yourself and your information, visit our Fraud Protection page.

Source: American Bankers Association

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