How Safe Is Mobile Banking
Banking is changing extremely rapidly. With the development of online banking, banks began to focus on allowing customers to manage their own accounts rather than require a banker or teller to handle the transaction. Fewer and fewer transactions require a banking professional’s touch. Cash can be withdrawn at ATMs. Transfers can be made from bank to bank, from person to person, all done online. Depositing checks can now be completed online. Bills are paid online, so fewer checks have to process through human hands. But the convenience comes at a cost to your security. All the power to manage and move money is protected only be a six to ten character password.
According to cell phone technicians, passwords can be retrieved from your cell phone through a system log or application dump – sometimes unencrypted. Furthermore, according to a report prepared by IO Active Labs, as much as 90% of banking apps had security issues. This testing was reported in 2014, and advances have been made to mobile security since then, but passwords are still the primary security device. So how safe is your password? Do you use the same password on different systems? For the great majority of consumers, the answer is yes. What if the password you use for banking was compromised by another system? BitDefender, a popular anti-virus / online security firm, was hacked in mid-2015 and passwords stolen. Unfortunately, the passwords have been stored unencrypted.
The solution, or at least the next evolution of security for your mobile banking apps is two-factor authentication that requires not only a username/password, but a token generated on your phone. That way, hackers would need more than just to hack your user name and password – they would need physical access to your cell phone as well to log into your account. Complete security isn’t economically feasible, but at least getting close is an option.