one are the days when you had to visit the bank physically. Mobile banking has now brought the bank to your fingertips. You can quickly transfer your money and make any required payments with one tap. Mobile banking technology has eased the tiresome traditional banking operations as you can easily access your banking account from anywhere and at any time.

However, on the other side, technology also has made it convenient for scammers and frauds to steal your money. They don't have to plan a money heist to loot the bank. All they need is hacking skills and vulnerable customers.

Thus, it is crucial to know the security risks when using mobile bank apps and take precautionary measures to be protected from them.


Risks Of Mobile Banking.

Malware Risk

Mobile phones are like pocket-sized computers with compact hardware and software. Thus, like computers, they are also vulnerable to viruses and malware. When you download the apps from unofficial sources, they have viruses and malware attached to them.

Mainly, malware such as app banking trojans is developed so that it remains dormant until the banking app is launched. When you launch the banking app, they open up like a pop-up that tricks you into thinking it's from the app when it isn't. Once you enter your login details, these details are passed on to the hackers who plan to misuse your information. The worst thing about it is that you have no idea about it, and when you do, it's already late.


The hackers may send you fake emails and SMS to steal your personal information, such as bank information, passwords, or credit card numbers. These emails and SMS look legitimate, but they aren't. When you provide your details thinking the emails look authentic, your information is misused by the hackers.


On top of that, these days, hackers have gone so far that they have made fake mobile banking apps. These apps look like real banking apps, and when you log in to them, your personal information is sent to the hackers who can misuse them for their personal gain.

Identity Theft And Data Breach

Mobile banking apps are highly prone to data breaches and data theft. The mobile operating systems themselves are vulnerable to bugs, viruses, and malware such that it is easier for hackers to steal the data.

On top of that, many people lose and get their mobile phones stolen. Mobile phones are data houses that consist of sensitive and confidential data stored in them. So, if it ends up in the wrong hands, things can get nasty.

A recent survey has found that 33 % of US citizens have experienced identity theft. The fraud uses banking information and social security numbers to pretend to be someone they aren't. They open credit card accounts in their name and withdraw their money. This causes a lot of financial losses and problems for the person whose identity has been stolen.

Shoulder Surfing

When you use your mobile phones in public, you never know who is watching over you and your phone. Thus, it is not advisable to use your mobile banking app out in public as they may get your personal information and misuse it.

How To Protect Yourself from Scam, Identity Theft, and Financial Loss?

Use A Strong Password

Most people make a common mistake by using their name and birth date in their passwords. These passwords can be easily guessed and cracked. The password should be a combination of random uppercase, lowercase numbers, and symbols such that it is hard for the hackers to crack your password or someone else to remember them.

Also, never use the same password for all your accounts. If anyone cracks your password for one account, it will serve as the master key to unlock all your other accounts. However, if you are someone who forgets the password most often, you can install a password manager or biometric identification instead.

Never Use Free Wifi

Most of us are tempted to use public wifi or free wifi. But, these networks are unsecured and have a high risk of your data being stolen. Usually, in free wifi, the hacker can position himself between you and the connection point such that s/he has access to every information you are sending out to the internet. Thus, you shouldn't access confidential information like banking while using the free wifi or hotspot.

Download the Verified Banking App

Since many fake banking apps look similar to the real banking app, you should download the banking app from their official websites. You shouldn't download the app from the open forum or the internet. Also, don't open your bank account through a mobile browser as they are usually less secure than the apps.

Never Give Your Information On Phone

The frauds and scammers pretend to represent the bank or any organization to get your personal information. You should not give your information on the phone. On top of that, due to the two-factor authentication, the scammer cannot get access to the account. So, instead, they would call the user pretending to call for the identity check and ask for the OTP code. You should never give out an OTP code or any personal information on the phone.

Set Up Alerts Via Email Or SMS

You can set up alerts via email or SMS to monitor your banking activity. Thus, if any suspicious activity is found, you can immediately report it to the bank. The sooner you report the fraudulent activity, the greater your chances of getting funds reimbursed.

Make Sure To Use Two Factor Authentication

Banks have started to use two-factor authentication to secure the account through a two-step verification process. So, you should set up two-factor authentication in your mobile banking apps as well. People usually feel the hassle of setting up the two-factor authentication as it takes more time than the one-step password verification. But, these extra minutes that you are investing in can save you from future hassle and losses if your account is hacked.

What Is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security tool that verifies your identity with two pieces of information: something that you know (password, security questions) and something that you have (OTP number, your fingerprint, codes).

For instance, when you log in to Google, you need to enter your email address and password. After that, you need to enter the OTP code or authentication codes from the app to verify your identity. Google only lets you access the account after you have passed the second step of verification.

This way, even if the hacker somehow knows your password, s/he won't be able to pass through the secondary security step. Also, you get the notification that someone was trying to log in to your device. This notifies you of the potential risk such that you can take necessary action (changing the password) to secure your account.

Why Should Banks Enable Two Factor Authentication?

Almost every bank has experienced cyberattacks, and the number is only increasing. Cybersecurity is a big concern for the banks, and they should look for a way to protect themselves and their customers from the potential risk.

Passwords used to secure the accounts can easily be cracked by hackers. On top of that, hackers can easily collect the customers' information. Thus, passwords are historically weak now and cannot be trusted to secure the accounts fully.

Two-factor authentication offers more protection than what the passwords alone would haven't. It adds an extra security layer which is hard for the hackers to penetrate through. The hacker steals your personal information and tries to misuse your account based on that. But, 2FA requires two-step verification by sending you the codes in real-time. Since the authentication codes change every time, they cannot steal and store them. This ensures that the accounts of the users are protected from potential risk.


Banking has never got any easier. With mobile banking, you can do banking at your fingertips. But it is essential to watch for security issues while using mobile banking. Where the money goes, fraud and privacy risks follow. Thus, it would be best to take necessary precautionary measures to protect yourself so that you don't get scammed and lose your hard-earned money to hackers and scammers.


May 16, 2022
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