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Consumer
Protect yourself from mobile fraud
DAYTON, Ohio (07/18/11)--The use of mobile banking services in the U.S. is expected to rise from 19% of cell phone users---about 17% of the adult population--to 22% within the next year, according to a recent study by Luth Research (bizjournals.com July 10). The growing acceptance and popularity of mobile banking makes recent actions of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) important for consumers. The FFIEC established guidelines to make handling personal finances on mobile devices more secure. The guidelines require financial institutions to implement antifraud measures for mobile banking services similar to those on their websites (credit.com July 8). These anti-fraud measures may include using multiple ways to authenticate logins to mobile banking services and identifying suspicious transactions that could indicate fraud. While these rules may help, the best protection for consumers is to be proactive in managing their mobile activities. Practice these five guidelines from ConsumerReports.org to protect yourself from mobile fraud:
* Secure login. Make sure you are logging in to a secure mobile site when using your phone’s Web browser to access mobile banking sites. Look for indications on your browser that the site is secure, such as a lock symbol or “https” at the beginning of the site’s web address. * Trusted apps. Only allow trusted applications the ability to send text messages or update social networks. Untrustworthy apps may initiate fraudulent messages or spam, and add charges to your cell phone bill. * Public Wi-Fi. Never conduct mobile banking, e-commerce, or other business involving user names, passwords, or other personal information on a public Wi-Fi network. Crooks may be able to capture login and password information. * Reliable source. Avoid downloading spyware, which may accompany an application by obtaining your smart phone applications from a trusted source. Cell phone spyware can seize personal information including messages, conversations, and, via GPS coordinates, even your location. * Security software. Purchase and install security software on your cell phone. Security software for your phone may help you find your cell phone if misplaced, allow you to delete data if the phone is lost, and prompt you to remove malicious software.
For related information, listen to “Perfect Storm for Identity Theft Brewing” on the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
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