Mobile phones have a lot of great features, but it’s important that you think of your smartphone not just as a phone, but as a computer capable of performing transactions remotely.
As more and more people are using smartphones, scammers are turning their attention to them. In fact, computer security firm McAfee reported that between January 2013 and January 2014, the total number of mobile malware samples grew by 167%.
Tips to help you keep your smartphone or other mobile device safe
- Use password protection on your mobile device so no one else can access it. If someone steals or finds your phone and is able to access your personal email account, they could use it to perform password resets on any of your online accounts. If you do nothing else, please do this!
- Install antivirus software. Many security software vendors now offer a mobile version of their anti-virus solution.
- Be just as wary about phishing attempts made via mobile email or text message as you would on your computer. This is where scammers try to trick you into providing your personal information, account numbers or passwords. Never open attachments or download files from unfamiliar sources.
- Visit only trusted web sites and delete cached data from your mobile browser.
- Don’t disclose personal information in text messages and purge your text messages regularly.
- Be careful of everything you download onto your smartphone. Download signed applications only from a trusted source. Look at the developer’s name, and check out reviews and star ratings.
- Install an app that can help locate your lost or stolen phone and, if necessary, wipe the data from it.
- Limit the amount of personal information you keep on your mobile device. Never store usernames and passwords on your device. Don’t allow mobile browsers to store mobile banking credentials.
- Keep your phone with you and secure it when it’s not in use.
- Do not enable Android’s “install from unknown sources” feature if mobile phone uses the Android operating system.
- Turn off Wi-Fi™ tethering and Bluetooth™ capability when your device is not in use, so hackers won’t have an opening to get in to your system. Use only Wi-Fi hot spots that are reputable and password protected.
- Don’t alter the manufacturer’s security settings. Attempts to “jailbreak” or “root” your smartphone will not only void your warranty, it will make the phone much more vulnerable to attacks.
- Make sure you delete all personal details if you sell or discard your phone or mobile device. This includes text messages, emails, photographs, contact details and Internet links.
Best practices to employ in the event your mobile device is ever lost or stolen
- Log in to Online Banking from your PC and change your Online Banking password immediately. Even if your password is known by the person who finds your phone, or if you have saved the password in the phone, it will not work if your password has been changed.
- Report the loss to your phone carrier and ask them to disable the old phone.
- Contact the credit union to let us know about the loss. We can discuss additional security options with you.
- As always, whenever there is a possibility of unauthorized access to your account, you should watch your account closely to insure no unauthorized transactions appear.
If you have any questions or if we can help you in any way, please contact Member Services at (804) 323-6800 or (800) 285-6609.